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More than two years ago a new system for examining trademark applications was introduced in Poland. The purpose of the so-called “opposition system” was to adapt Polish regulations to EU and international regulations and the jurisprudence of the EU Court of Justice.

While no more applications for Micro Projects (those below 0.5MW) can be submitted under Hungary’s very generous mandatory off-take system since the end of April 2018, the Government  seems to have acknowledged that the projects already licensed under the subsidy regime may not be physically implemented within the strict deadlines set forth in the original legislation. Therefore, it is now possible for entities that applied for licenses after January 1, 2016 to ask for a three- years extension to complete their projects without any sanction. This is good news for license-owners and potential investors, as they have a reasonable amount of time to manage the relatively burdensome permitting proceedings and can also secure project finance. This is also good news for the Hungarian state budget because the first heavy payments to the projects under the mandatory off-take system will be delayed by a few more years.

Wolf Theiss has advised Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberosterreich Aktiengesellschaft on its June 12, 2018 placement of mortgage-covered bank bonds with a fixed interest rate in the amount of EUR 500 million on the international capital market. Weber Rechtsanwalte advised Joint Lead Managers DekaBank, DZ Bank, Erste Group, Raiffeisen Bank International, and UniCredit.

Wolf Theiss has advised Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Erste Bank, and Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberosterreich Aktiengesellschaft on their green bond issuance. The Joint Lead Managers, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschaftsbank, Frankfurt am Main, HSBC Bank plc, ING Bank N.V., and Raiffeisen Bank International AG were advised by White & Case.

Wolf Theiss has advised the Chinese home appliance producer Hisense on its takeover offer for 95% of the shares in Slovenian white-goods manufacturer Gorenje. Jadek & Pensa advised Gorenje on the sale. The transaction value exceeds EUR 250 million.

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner and Wolf Theiss have advised the Steinhoff Group on the sale of the Kika/Leiner Group to Signa Holding. Arnold Rechtsanwalte advised Signa Holding on the acquisition. Kika was represented by Urbanek Lind Schmied Reisch on the sale. Eisenberger & Herzog and the London office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy advised a group of creditors of the seller of Kika/Leiner's property assets in Austria and several CEE countries.

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is, according to the EU-hosted GDPR website, “the most important change in data privacy regulation in the past 20 years.” The Act, which was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016 and will become fully effective on May 25, 2018, was designed “to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”

Unlike those of its neighbours to the East, Austria’s economy was allowed to operate free of communist interference, allowing the country to hit well above its weight, comparatively-speaking. Thus, although Austria is the 11th biggest country in CEE in population, with 8.7 million people, it has the third largest economy, behind only Russia and Poland. And these days, with the global financial crisis now firmly in the rearview mirror, the country is once again able to capitalize on its happy geographical positioning and historical relationship with the former members of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners at law firms across the region important questions about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: What was your favorite course in law school, and why?

Wolf Theiss at a Glance

Established in 1957, Wolf Theiss is one of the leading European law firms in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe with a focus on international business law. With 300 lawyers in 13 offices located in Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine, Wolf Theiss represents local and international industrial, trade and service companies, as well as banks and insurance companies. Combining law and business, Wolf Theiss develops comprehensive and constructive solutions on the basis of legal, fiscal and business know-how.

Firm's website: http://www.wolftheiss.com/