Legal Updates for December 2016
Intellectual Property Case Updates - Malaysia
This issue of Intellectual Property Case Updates provides case notes on some recent Malaysian cases on intellectual property.
In Kraft Foods Schweiz Holdings GmbH v Pendaftar Cap Dagangan, the Malaysian High Court dealt with the issue of whether a 3D or shape mark could qualify as a "mark" or "trade mark" under section 3(1) of the Trade Marks Act 1976. In the second case, World Grand Dynamic Marketing Sdn Bhd v FJVAA SPA Sdn Bhd & Ors, the Malaysian High Court considered the question of whether litigants could use correspondence by the Registrar of Trade Marks in evidence.
SICC Determines Damages Following First Full Judgment on Liability
In Telemedia Pacific Group Ltd and another v Yuanta Asset Management International Ltd and another  SGHC(I) 3, the Singapore International Commercial Court ("SICC") issued its first full judgment on liability. More recently, in Telemedia Pacific Group Ltd and another v Yuanta Asset Management International Ltd and another  SGHC(I) 6, the SICC determined the quantum of damages and costs to be awarded to the Plaintiffs. The Plaintiffs were successfully represented in both matters by Paul Tan and Yam Wern-Jhien of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
New Minimum Trading Price Framework Implemented
In August 2016, the Singapore Exchange ("SGX") consulted on proposals to refine the minimum trading price ("MTP") framework with the addition of a market capitalisation test. On 2 December 2016, SGX issued its response to feedback received on its proposals. As there was strong support received for the proposals, SGX has stated that it will proceed to implement the revised MTP entry criteria as proposed in the August 2016 consultation.
Singapore Court of Appeal Dismisses "Just and Equitable" Winding Up Application on Account of Buy-Out Provision in the Company's Articles
In Ting Shwu Ping (Administrator of the estate of Chng Koon Seng, deceased) v Scanone Pte Ltd and another appeal  SGCA 65, a 5-Judge Court of Appeal held that the existence of a buy-out provision in a company’s articles can affect whether there are just and equitable grounds for winding up the company. Significantly, this is also the first case where s 254(2A) of the Companies Act, which empowers the Courts hearing a s 254(1)(i) application to order a buy-out as an alternative to making a winding up order, was considered and interpreted by the Court. The respondent companies in Ting Shwu Ping were successfully represented by Mr Vikram Nair and Mr Tan Ruo Yu from Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
Full Convergence with IFRS in 2018 for Singapore-Listed Companies
The Singapore Accounting Standards Council has reminded Singapore-incorporated companies listed on the Singapore Exchange ("Singapore-listed companies") that a new financial reporting framework identical to the International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") will apply for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2018. Other Singapore-incorporated companies can continue to apply the existing financial reporting frameworks, including the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards ("SFRS"), or may elect to apply the new framework.
Retrenchment Notification Mandatory From 1 January 2017
On 25 November 2016, the Ministry of Manpower ("MOM") and its tripartite partners - the National Trade Union Congress and the Singapore National Employers Federation - issued an advisory stating that, with effect from 1 January 2017, it is a mandatory requirement for businesses to notify the MOM of their redundancy exercises, and the failure to do so is an offence. This Client Update provides an overview of this new mandatory notification regime and also discusses the current position on the payment of retrenchment benefits in Singapore.
Uber Drivers and the Gig Economy – Determining the Employment Status of Workers
In a recent landmark decision, the UK Employment Tribunal held that Uber drivers are deemed to be workers with certain employee rights, rather than being self-employed. This decision is a potential game-changer with far-reaching consequences not just for Uber drivers in different countries, but also for the many "Uber" - like companies operating on-demand technology platforms. This Client Update takes a look at this UK decision, and its potential effects in Singapore and beyond.