Strategic Lawering Paris Lyon Bruxelles

Business Law

Published at 29 November 2017
E-newsletter: November 2017
In an opinion dated September 21, 2017 and released in early November, the Commission d’examen des pratiques commerciales (Commercial Practices Review Committee) ruled on the lawfulness of the payment of year-end rebates provided for in an annual agreement between a supplier and a distributor whereas the requirements applicable for such payment were not met.
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Published at 30 October 2017
Category : Business Law
E-newsletter: October 2017
The validity of clauses imposed by suppliers on their authorized distributors prohibiting the online sale of their products has given rise to numerous disputes in recent years. French and EC courts generally hold that such clauses are invalid because they restrict competition. Yet, in a decision dated September 13, 2017, the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) softened its stance by recognizing suppliers who have a selective distribution network the right to impose on their distributors – subject to conditions – contractual terms prohibiting them from selling products on unauthorized online sale platforms.
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Published at 29 September 2017
E-newsletter: September 2017
In a decision dated June 21, 2017, the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) ruled that the termination of a distribution agreement during the contractual trial period could not be considered as abusive. It follows from this decision that the parties are free to include in a distribution agreement a trial period during which each of them has a unilateral termination right.
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Published at 30 May 2017
Category : Business Law
E-newsletter: May 2017
Appeals lodged in disputes based on Article L. 442-6 of the French Commercial Code (the “FCC”) on restrictive trade practices – including, but not limited to, significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of contractual parties and sudden breach of established business relationships – fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Paris Court of Appeals. This rule had been so far applied extensively by the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court). In a decision dated March 29, 2017, confirmed by a second decision dated April 26, 2017, the Cour de Cassation reversed its case law and ruled that in certain circumstances such disputes can escape the exclusive jurisdiction of the Paris Court of Appeals and be validly brought before another court of appeals.
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Published at 31 March 2017
Category : Business Law
E-newsletter: March 2017
The Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) recently held that a price reduction clause contractually agreed upon between a supplier and its distributor can create a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties, within the meaning of Article L. 442-6 I §2 of the French Commercial Code. The concept of “significant imbalance”, sometimes criticized for its vagueness, is addressed in a growing number of court decisions that provide a concrete illustration thereof through a factual analysis of behaviors and contractual provisions agreed upon between business partners. The decision commented in this article is particularly noteworthy because it recalls that, as per the terms of the above-mentioned Article, the judge is empowered to check the price set by the parties.
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Published at 31 March 2017
E-newsletter: March 2017
On February 23, 2016, the Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes (General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Protection and Frauds, hereinafter “DGCCRF”) released it 2016 activity report. In this report, the DGCCRF – which monitors the proper operation of the markets to the benefit of consumers and businesses – highlights the salient facts of 2016 concerning inter alia the balance of business relationships, the fight against late payments and the fight against anti-competitive practices. It also provides a status report on its activity concerning the rules on economic protection of consumers and the fight against abusive practices.
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Published at 29 November 2016
E-newsletter: November 2016
Adopted by the Parliament on November 8, 2016, the “Sapin II Law” is primarily designed to strengthen the French anti-corruption arsenal and introduces new measures to prevent and penalize corruption. This Law also brings a number of changes to the legislation governing business relationships between economic operators, including with respect to practices that restrict competition, so-called “single commercial agreements” and payment terms.
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Published at 28 September 2016
Category : Business Law
E-newsletter: September 2016
n today’s world, knowledge is the key to innovation and success. For companies, the protection of trade secrets has become a major challenge as the unlawful disclosure of information concerning a company is likely to undermine such company’s ability to compete in a market where competition has dramatically increased. French law, as it currently stands, only partially protects business information and savoir-faire of companies, despites the high commercial value that such information may have. The expression “trade secrets” is, however, frequently referred to in French legal and regulatory texts (it is mentioned in no less than 150 codified articles!) and by judicial and administrative courts, but it is neither defined nor regulated by a specific legal framework. In the absence of any specific text, trade secrets are currently protected by a series of scattered civil and criminal law provisions (1). EU Directive 2016/943 on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure (the “Directive”) addresses this issue. It was adopted by the European Parliament and the European Council on June 8, 2016 and must be transposed by Member States into national law by June 9, 2018 (Article 18 of the Directive). The question facing law practitioners is now to identify how the protection of trade secrets will henceforth be ensured (2).
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Published at 28 September 2016
Category : Business Law
E-newsletter: September 2016
The European Commission has just released its preliminary report (the “Report”) on the e-commerce sector inquiry it had launched in 2015. This inquiry is part of the European Commission’s strategy to create a digital single market. It is intended to provide an overview of the major trends in European e-commerce markets and to identify trade practices that restrict competition and limit consumer choice.
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Published at 29 August 2016
Category : Business Law, Contracts
E-newsletter: July / August 2016
The provisions set forth in Ordinance n°2016-131 of February 10, 2016 for the reform of contract law, the general regime of obligations and proof of obligations (the “Ordinance”) will come into force on October 1, 2016 and apply to all contracts entered into on or after said date. This major overhaul of French contract law will entail practical changes in contractual practices with respect to distribution agreements. This Article provides a few examples of anticipated changes regarding the formation, performance and substance of distribution agreements.
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