Posted on Categories artificial intelligence, blockchain

European vision of the data-based economy

Key strategic documents from the European Commission on data and AI—the European data strategy and Excellence and trust in artificial intelligence—were recently released for public consultation. They present a European vision for a new model of the economy.

According to these documents, the new model of the economy is to be founded on principles vital for European values, particularly human dignity and trust. This aspect should be stressed, as the European Union clearly is becoming the global leader in thinking about new technologies in light of humanistic values. This is a unique approach, but also entails several dilemmas. In adopting this approach, the EU risks eroding its competitive advantages, at least in the short-term perspective. Most likely, AI technologies will develop faster in places where their growth is not restrained by ethical doubts. The Commission thus proposes an ambitious but also risky approach.

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Posted on Categories changes in law

Websites of private joint-stock company or joint-stock limited partnership

Does a company or limited partnership have to have its own website? Does it have to operate the site itself? What information must be posted there? Practical pointers under the amended Commercial Companies Code

An amendment to the Commercial Companies Code entered into force at the start of 2020, imposing on joint-stock companies and joint-stock limited partnerships an obligation to operate a website and to post certain information there for stockholders (as we previously reported here).

Although the new regulation applies to all joint-stock companies, in practice it changes little for public companies, which were already subject to much more extensive requirements, and thus we do not discuss public companies further in this article.

The new regulation should be examined more closely, as it has generated (probably unintentionally) certain doubts as to what the new obligation entails.

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Posted on Categories electronic identification, privacy/personal data protection

Verification of age to access pornographic content

An anti-obscenity association issued a proposal for an Act on Protection of Minors against Pornographic Content on 16 December 2019. It has gained the official support of the Family Council, which recommended to the Prime Minister that the proposal be adopted for further legislative work. The Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy announced that work on the bill should conclude in the first half of 2020. The need to restrict children’s access to pornography is obvious, but the proposal has generated much controversy, mainly due to the proposed mechanism for age verification, which may invade internet users’ privacy. The proposal would also impose additional obligations on telecommunications operators, electronic service providers, and payment service providers.

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Posted on Categories creative industry

“Dungeons” similar to “Dungeons & Dragons”

Are computer games still a niche product, or have they entered the mainstream? The possibility of registering a trademark similar to an earlier mark turns on this issue.

Kalypso Media Group GmbH v EUIPO, Case T‑700/18 (judgment of the General Court of 10 October 2019)

The computer game industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy, in Poland as elsewhere. Dynamic growth carries the risk of disputes affecting various aspects of gaming.

A case recently reached the docket of the General Court (a division of the Court of Justice of the European Union) concerning the application for registration of an EU trademark for the word sign DUNGEONS by Kalypso Media Group GmbH. The application was opposed by Wizards of the Coast LLC, proprietor of the earlier EU word mark DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. The European Union Intellectual Property Office upheld the opposition and denied registration of DUNGEONS, finding that there was a likelihood of confusion with the earlier mark DUNGEONS & DRAGONS.

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Posted on Categories blockchain

A single shareholder register maintained by multiple entities?

Due to provisions implementing the simple stock company into Polish law, and provisions on “dematerialisation of private joint-stock companies”, the Commercial Companies Code contains cryptic wording on the option of maintaining a shareholder register for these two types of companies, “in electronic form, as a dispersed and decentralised database”.

We have addressed the question of this option repeatedly because it is potentially an opening for “tokenisation” of shares. This means that in a simple stock company or joint-stock company, shares can be issued as blockchain tokens. Simple rewording of two identical provisions in the Commercial Companies Code could therefore connect the world of decentralised registers and shareholdings, the latter being a concept recognised in law, in both of these types of joint-stock companies.

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