Commission launches public consultation on digital company law
The consultation, launched on 21 December, aims to contribute to a future European Commission (EC) initiative to further adapt EU company law to continuing digital developments. The deadline for responding is 8 April.
A legislative proposal, scheduled for Q4 2022, intends to:
- improve transparency on EU companies by making more information available on a cross-border basis
- enable the cross-border use of trustworthy company data
- further modernise EU company law rules to make them fit for the digital age
EC and EUIPO launch new fund to help SMEs protect their intellectual property rights
The new fund, jointly issued by the EC and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), was launched on 10 February. It offers vouchers for EU-based SMEs to help them protect their intellectual property (IP) rights.
This is the second EU SME Fund aiming at supporting SMEs in the COVID-19 recovery and green and digital transitions for the next three years (2022-2024).
The SME fund has a budget of EUR 47 million, and will notably cover:
- IP scan services
- trademark and design registration fees – including international registration provided by the World Intellectual Property Organisation
- fees charged by national patent offices for patent registration
- further IP support services from 2023 onward
EUIPO’s first call for proposals to get financing from the fund was launched on the same day.
New date for Commission’s sustainable corporate governance initiative
EC has postponed the publication of its sustainable corporate governance (SCG) proposals several times now. However, according to the latest EC’s planning document, SCG proposals are scheduled to be published on 15 February. This date may still change.
One of the expected elements of the SCG proposals is around supply chain due diligence. Most SMEs are expected to be scoped out or only partially included in these requirements. Still, they may face ‘trickle-down’ impacts of the legislation as their larger supply chain partners may request sustainability-related information from them, aiming to fulfil their own legal due diligence obligations.