Dr. Thomas Marx Award 2013

Dr. Thomas Marx Award 2013


Michael Partridge, Marx Siebert Rechtsanwälte

<b>WINNER</b>: Mr. Michael Partridge

Title: Mr.

WINNER: Mr. Michael Partridge



This contribution to this year's Dr. Thomas Marx Award is dedicated to the extensively discussed and highly controversial international legal topic of how and in which way preliminary issues should be connected when it comes to the conflict of law provisions of the European Union. The preliminary issue itself is, in a broader sense, defined as any question regarding the existence of a preliminary legal relationship or right, regardless of whether it has arisen in context with the specifications made by national or foreign conflict of law provisions or substantive law and is a well-known concept of private international law.

Even though, this legal topic is of the utmost significance and, on the one hand, ever since has been one of the most popular subjects of the general part of private international law as well as the topic of many disputes and the subject-matter of many articles within the corresponding legal literature, the question of how to connect preliminary issues, on the other hand, still remains unsolved. This paper takes this as a reason to take a closer look at the most significant legal opinions and arguments in order to explain why there has not yet been a solution to the problem of how to connect preliminary issues as well as - in consideration of the aforementioned opinions and arguments - to show the interested reader what possible solution to the problem exists.

In order to provide this possible solution to the problem, this contribution not only discusses and explains the importance and effects of preliminary issues in connection with autonomous conflict of law provisions, but also, by taking into consideration the unstoppable and ongoing growth of the European Union, focusses on the objective of establishing a standardized and complete system of private international law as a means to add a new and unprecedented emphasis for the connection mechanism of preliminary issues under the European provisions on the conflict of laws. Therefore, this paper initially explains the significance of connecting preliminary issues in accordance with autonomous and European conflict of law provisions as well as the existing European Regulations and, by using examples of particular cases, shows what problems can arise. Subsequently, by extensively weighing the relevant pros and cons for both forms of conformity in decision-making, the interested reader is enabled to better identify and understand which conformity in decision-making should be given priority, to ultimately attain the foremost objective of establishing a standardized and complete system of European private international law and as a result provide a solution to the problem of how to connect preliminary issues.


The conflict of law provisions of the European Union – the preliminary issue between an independent and a dependent connection mechanism

Elodie Baudras

Participant: Elodie Baudras



Throughout the world, there are employee inventors who contribute to the economic and commercial success of their employer through their inventiveness.

The performance of companies is often improved by employee inventions that are progressive as opposed to revolutionary and simply contribute to improvement of existing processes, systems or methods already used by the company for many years. However, from time to time, employee inventions represent substantial contributions to the economic fortune of a company, without offering any real benefit to the employee.

Employee inventor compensation is an issue often discussed between employers, employees and legislators without finding any real consensus; everyone has his opinion and preoccupations and no one wants to give ground.

Each country deals differently with this question and the ownership of the employee´s invention may vary according to the approach applied by the country.

Around the world, the occurrence of litigation in relation to employee inventor compensation is varied and, generally, the monetary value involved is not significant. Nevertheless, the potential for such litigation should not to neglected, given the increase in patent filings and associated employer-employee litigation. Some recent Judgments remind us that issue is real and can have a significant financial impact on the employer company.

I have often questioned whether countries other than France have to deal with the issue of employee inventor compensation and the discontent that persists on this subject between employee and employer.

The purpose of this paper is to answer this question and to look at how the large patent filing countries deal with this issue.

This paper should describe the different systems that have developed and indicate the future prospects for employee inventor litigation.


Delicate Issue of Employee Inventor Compensation

Pawl Krawiec

Participant: Pawl Krawiec

Firm: RGW Roclawski Graczyk i Wspolnicy Adwokacka sp. k.


As presented in the paper, recent devolvement in derivatives market created a real threat to existing regulations regarding disclosure regimes and mandatory bid rule. So called hidden ownership has been repeatedly used to avoid triggering of disclosures obligation or even mandatory bid rule. The main European cases show that hidden ownership can be successfully used to silently build up a stake in public companies.

In my opinion, the current legislative action at the European Union level regarding disclosure of a crash – settled derivatives is a step in the right direction. It is not a desirable situation when some countries (like the U. K.) introduce regulations on cash –settled derivatives, which secure interest of other shareholders and increase transparency of the market, while others do not regulate this area at all. Enacting an amendment to the Transparency Directive will contribute to diminish disparity of capital markets in each of the European Union Countries.

Despite positive amendments to the Transparency Directive, there is a need to amend also the Takeover Directive. The mandatory bid rule is strictly connected with disclosure obligation, which in this context we can call “an early warning signal”. Coherent regulations on both disclosure regimes and mandatory bid rule would contribute to transparency  and better protection of minority shareholders´ rights.


Hidden (morphable) ownership in the context of Transparency Directive and Takeover Directive

Sean Gregor

Participant: Sean Gregor



The economic and financial crisis has raised the issue of how the European Union is
to progress in the future. Britain is soon to have a referendum on whether to remain
in the EU and similar calls have arisen in other Member States. ln contrast some
other Member States have called for greater integration within the Union.
Direct taxation, which at present is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Member
States is since as one of the last great obstacles to true integration of the EU. It is
seen by some as an impediment to the Four Freedoms of the EU. In particular the 27
different corporate tax regimes are seen as having a negative impact on the common
internal market.
Since 1962 the EU has considered various reports and proposals in relation to the
corporate tax base. However, due to political and other reasons no proposal was
ever implemented. ln 2001 the Commission revived the idea for a common
consolidated corporate tax base. A Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base
Working Group was set up in 2004 and they have produced over 60 papers on
various issues.
In March 2011, the Commission brought fowvard the proposal on the Common
Consolidated Corporate Tax Base. This is a radical proposal which would enable EU
companies to benefit from a “one stop shop” system for filing tax returns and to
consolidate all the profits and losses across the EU. The Commission estimates that,
every year, the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base could save EU
businesses €7OO million in reduced compliance costs, and €1.3 billion through
The area is very topical at present and has given rise to a significant amount of
debate throughout the EU. lt is a key decision for the European Union and may have
long lasting consequences for how the European Union is shaped in the future.
This paper analyses the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base Proposal, and
considers whether it is a viable option at present. The paper also considers an
alternative proposal to the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base.


The Common Consolidation Corporate Tax Base, is the way forward?