BLOGS: Womble Carlyle Global

Thursday, August 25, 2016, 2:45 PM

Brexit, China, Terrorists; French Industry Undeterred

Joe Foltz
Our clients in the Alsace-Lorraine / French Alps region of France are involved in manufacturing fine machine parts and agricultural products.  Like most French companies, they are closely held enterprises.  While their manufacturing operations are small by comparison to U.S. standards, they are dominant in their industries because of quality of finished product.  In fact, the Marne Valley is referred to as the “Silicon Valley” of fine machining in Europe.  

I recently posed a question to our clients in the region on how global events are affecting their desire to invest in the United States.  They indicated that their desire to do business in the U.S. is stronger than ever.  In fact, for one of our clients, their business in the U.S. increased by 38% last year.  This was due in part to a declining interest in doing business in China because of uncertainty of regulations as well as poor quality manufacturing.  They have found that automation in France has equalized the lower labor costs in China.  
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Thursday, August 11, 2016, 2:08 PM

Arbitration Saves Money And Patents In International Disputes

By Kirk Watkins

The advantages and disadvantages of arbitration versus litigation have been long debated. Because arbitration is a matter of contract, parties are free to adopt existing procedural and substantive rules or invent their own. This freedom can complicate comparisons. For example, the parties can include or exclude discovery, permit or prohibit direct testimony, and require prompt and detailed rulings – or not. Arbitrations have one advantage that is unquestioned – treaties make the international enforcement of arbitration awards easier and more likely than the informant of state judgments.
Kirk Watkins

Arbitration has become a favored provision in certain industry contracts, including construction, securities, and labor. Arbitration is, on the other hand, rarely used in relation to patent disputes. While arbitration provisions are a part of many patent licensing agreements, most patent disputes are not between licensees and licensors. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court changed a pre-existing Federal Circuit rule to permit patent licensees to file declaratory judgments seeking invalidity against licensed patents in Medimmune, Inc. v. Genetech, Inc., 549 U.S. 118 (2007), this rule cannot prevent a stay for any dispute falling within the provisions of an arbitration clause.
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Thursday, August 4, 2016, 4:12 PM

Panama Papers Should Prompt Compliance Review

By Claire Rauscher

The “Panama Papers” are back in the news with confirmation last week that federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation of individuals at the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The Justice Department and Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office are investigating whether some at the law firm knowingly helped its clients launder money or evade taxes, according to the Wall Street Journal. The investigation is the latest in a series of recent international developments (most notably the Brexit vote) that underscore the need for global corporations to ensure compliance with money laundering regulations when pursuing tax strategies.

To refresh everyone’s memory, the “Panama Papers” scandal blew up in April when the
Claire Rauscher
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released a report on 11.5 million confidential documents hacked from Mossack Fonseca and leaked to journalists. The report revealed, among other sensitive information, that Mossack Fonseca used global law firms and large banks to create hundreds of thousands of offshore shell companies in more than 200 countries and territories, including more than 6,000 shell companies linked to the U.S. Many of the countries where the shell companies were formed have no online registry. The majority of those of companies provided no information about shareholders and their identities remain secret.

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