The invention of a revolutionary encoding or cryptographic technology known as ‘blockchain’ is already central to a significant proportion of business-to business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) commerce, legal products and processes. From online purchasing to medical data and prescription management, data sharing of cross-jurisdictional criminal records, to possibly even management of entire countries’ registers and notarisations, this technology has huge potential. But with this potential to develop in as yet undefined ways and into various unregulated areas, one may argue that there is also the risk that ethical boundaries defining our basic rights to ownership, privacy and access to justice may be crossed.
An overview of the various legal issues to be considered when launching your Malta start-up business
“The shiny red colour of the soles has no function other than to identify to the public that they are mine. I selected the colour because it is engaging, flirtatious, memorable and the colour of passion”. Christian Louboutin
Any woman with an incurable obsession with shoes will make it her mission in life to have at least one pair of Christian Louboutins, a.k.a ‘Loubous’, in her shoe closet. Is it because they are comfortable? Definitely not. In Mr Louboutin’s words “I hate the whole concept of comfort … I’ll do shoes for the lady who lunches…” meaning that there is no way a woman can flaunt her loubous while shaking it on the dance floor unless she is prepared to suffer … alot. Is it because of the design? Again, no. Mr Louboutin’s popular court shoes are simply just that … court shoes. Is it because they are affordable? Not quite. The cheapest pair of Loubous will set you back around Eur400. The reason why a pair of loubous is an absolute ‘must-have’ for shoe lovers is because of his trademark – the red sole.
The paramount importance of protection of a business’ Intellectual Property is rooted in its use as a means of identification of that business’ product, goods or services, distinguishing the same from those of other competing organisations. To the extent that such IP is protected in the prescribed manner, it also serves the purpose of representing its proprietor’s guarantee of consistent quality by showing the organisation’s commitment to its customers and, in most cases, provides a basis for publicity and marketing.
Consistent with the Maltese legislator’s ongoing drive to bolster the island’s profile as an intellectual property holding jurisdiction and to motivate further investment in research and development by enterprises whilst encouraging and supporting the exploitation of intellectual property, Malta’s income tax legislation provides for an outright exemption on royalty income derived from eligible patents, in respect of qualifying inventions.
Individuals from the EU, the EEA (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein), Switzerland and outside the EU are eligible to apply for a special tax status in terms of the High Net Worth Individuals Rules.