Law School NewsOthers

   

About the NLIU Cell for Law and Technology (NLIU-CLT)

The NLIU Cell for Law and Technology (NLIU-CLT) was constituted at National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal in the year 2019. It aims to create and promote an environment of debate and discussion on issues relating to Technology Law. The Cell has been continuously taking efforts to engage in a variety of activities to keep up with its vision to be ahead of the curve when it comes to the intricate interactions between technology and legal policy. When it comes to the intricate interactions between technology and legal policy, the Cell wants to be ahead of the curve.

About Ikigai Law

Ikigai Law is an award-winning technology law firm. The firm has a reputation for helping emerging-tech businesses navigate complex regulatory and policy environments. It is consistently ranked as a leading law firm for innovative technologies, data protection and fintech. The firm finds itself assisting clients in a growing list of tech and innovation sectors. Their work spans data protection, blockchain, digital gaming, digital payments, drones, health-tech, cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), online gaming, telecom and others. They have advised on several first-to-market business models including on India's first crypto-exchange and a first-of-its-kind satellite launch in India. The firm was awarded the Mid-size Law Firm of the Year by Idex Legal. Asian Legal Business awarded Ikigai Law the Boutique Law Firm of the Year and named it among the best law firms to work for in Asia in 2019.

About Techtonic 2023

The NLIU-CLT Technology and Law Fair: ‘Techtonic' is a major flagship event organized by the NLIU Cell for Law and Technology annually. It provides a chance for aspiring lawyers to explore their talent as policy professionals as well as gain insight into various technology law related issues. The two major highlights of this event are the NLIU-Ikigai Policy Case Competition which provides the students with an opportunity to question, analyse and improve upon the law on a pressing policy matter and the Round Table Conference which includes a panel discussion with renowned industry experts.

‘Techtonic 2023' which is the second edition of CLT's flagship event, is scheduled to be held from 10th – 12th February, 2023. The winners shall be awarded an Internship Opportunity with Ikigai Law.

About the NLIU — Ikigai Policy Case Competition

The NLIU-Ikigai Policy Case Competition, a one-of-a-kind competition in India, is hosted annually by the NLIU Cell for Law and Technology, as part of Techtonic,in order to inspire students to think critically, analytically, and creatively and to put forth policy proposals on real life issues. The Cell is excited to organize the second iteration of the Competition this year, which will include participation from law students throughout the nation and abroad. Ikigai Law has consented to be our Law Firm Partner for the same.

This year the Competition will be held entirely in a physical setup. The teams shall be asked to put forth policy proposals that will address the policy questions put before them. The submissions made by them will undergo review by the team at Ikigai and the qualifying teams will be expected to give an oral presentation before a panel of judges. After the first presentation (Preliminary Round), all participants shall be given a detailed feedback pursuant to which they will be given an opportunity to revise their proposal within a day’s time. Mentors shall be provided for the day. Selected teams shall then present their revised proposals in front of the judges for the final round. The winner shall be decided on the basis of both written submission and final oral presentation.

THEME FOR THE NLIU-IKIGAI POLICY CASE COMPETITION-

Theme: Internet Platform Regulation

The internet and large internet platforms are all pervasive in today’s world. One of the key challenges of our time is to find the sweet spot of regulation which balances user interests, regulatory concerns and the need to allow innovative businesses to flourish. These are hard questions which countries all over the world are grappling with at the moment. Participants will be required to suggest a model for platform regulation that is best suited to India. This will involve examining and evaluating approaches to platform regulation across the globe- and assessing whether these work for India.

Perks and Benefits

  • Participants shall be given an opportunity to be a part of the Two Round Table Conferences this year, conducted as part of Techtonic 2023.

    The Round Table Conference shall include panelists who are the corps d’elite of the trade from across the nation and abroad. The Conference shall be graced by academicians as well as industry experts from various renowned law firms who shall present their viewpoints. All the participants of Techtonic shall have the opportunity to witness it on our scenic campus.

  • All registered candidates shall have the opportunity to attend an Online Session on ‘How to Write a Policy Proposal’ by Ikigai Law.

  • Winners shall have the opportunity to intern with Ikigai Law.

  • Various publication opportunities shall be provided to the top ten policy proposals.

  • All teams shall get a chance to impress various think tanks and NGOs to land long term internship and mentoring opportunities on their proposed policies.

  • All teams shall have the opportunity to interact with and get mentoring sessions with industry experts from think tanks and law firms.

  • All teams shall have the opportunity to interact and collaborate with like-minded peers and colleagues.

  • A Certificate of Participation shall be awarded to all participants.

The detailed rulebook for the written rounds shall be published after the problem is released.

The detailed rulebook for the oral rounds shall be published after registrations close.

Important Dates:

  • Registration Opens: 9 November 2022

  • Online Session on ‘How to Write a Policy Proposal’ by Ikigai Law: 20 November 2022 (The link to join the session shall only be sent to registered candidates)

  • Release of the Policy Problem: 20 November 2022

  • Registration Closes: 18 December 2022

  • Deadline for Written Submission for the Policy Case Competition: 18 December 2022

  • Declaration of Result of the Written Submissions: 9 January 2023

  • Dates for Oral Presentation: 10 February 2023 — 12 February 2023

Registration Link: https://forms.gle/fy8DGaAVsiTohXrt5

Contact Details: In case of any queries, please write to us at clt@nliu.ac.in.

Official Website: For more details, please visit https://clt.nliu.ac.in/.

Law School NewsOthers

Law schools organize Moot Competitions to train law students in reasoning, argument, and legal analysis. These competitions teach students to explore both sides of an argument, learn to present their conclusions coherently and improve their written and oral communication.

LSAC Global is providing this opportunity to law aspirants through the 2nd Moot Court Competition for Law Aspirants on 5th and 6th February 2022. This competition aims to provide a challenging and yet fun experience of the courtroom to law aspirants to help them develop their analytical, critical reasoning and advocacy skills without the need to have legal knowledge or any legal training. An interactive event that will provide an opportunity for participants to learn about the legal system and what it is like to be a lawyer.

The participants will be analyzing the factual matrix of the situation provided and arguing on the same.

 

Eligibility

The competition is open to all school students currently in grade 11, 12 or who are yet to be enrolled into a law school.

 

Objectives

LSAC Global is conducting this competition with the objective of improving communication skills, critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities of law aspirants. This will help in exposing high school students to the nuances of court system in India and provide real-life experience and training in presenting relevant oral and written arguments.

Registrations

Interested students can register for the event till 25th January 2022. All participants will be required to submit a Memorial on 31st January 2022 after due training is provided to them. Preliminary rounds will be conducted on 5th February 2022 for the shortlisted students and the winners of each preliminary round will qualify for the final round on 6th  February 2022. There is no registration fee for participating in this competition.

Prize

All participants who will register, successfully submit the memorials on the due date and appear for the oral rounds on the event date will be awarded a Certificate of Participation

The winners in the rounds will receive a Certificate of Merit and a medal under each of the following categories:

  • Winner
  • Runners-up
  • Best Written Argument and Memorial
  • Best Speaker

Important Dates

Registration for Moot Competition 7th October – 25th  January 2022
Mentoring/ Training Session 27th January – 29th January 2022
Memorial Submission 31st January 2022
Allotment of Sides 02nd February 2022
Preliminary Round 05th February 2022
Final Round 06th February 2022

 

Important Links

Moot Problem

2nd LSAC-DLI-Moot-Court-Brochure

Contact Details

For more details, please visit our website.

To register for the 2nd DLI Moot Court competition click Here.

In case you have any queries, write to discoverlawindia@lsac.org.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Sanjeev Narula, J., granted an injunction to the Law Firm ‘Singh & Singh’ in a case of trademark infringement.

I.A. 7143/2021 (under Order 39 Rule 1 and 2)

Plaintiffs filed the present application under Order 39 and Rule 1 and 2 CPC seeking protection of their mark/name ‘Singh & Singh’. The plaintiffs were aggrieved by the use of identical marks ‘Singh + Singh’; ‘Singh + Singh Lawyers LLP’ and other derivatives by defendant 1 to 5.

Founders of Law Firm ‘Singh & Singh’ coined the said term and the same has been in use since 1997.

Rajiv Nayar, Chander Lall and Sandeep Sethi, Senior Counsel for the plaintiffs submitted that in May, 2021, plaintiffs were surprised to find a post on social media using the name ‘Singh + Singh LLP’ and ‘Singh + Singh Lawyers LLP’.

With further research it was noted that the said name was being used by the husband of Defendant 3, Defendant 2 along with another partner Defendant 4 Defendant 3 used to work as an associate in plaintiff 1 firm.

Further adding to the submissions, Counsel stated that the name ‘Singh & Singh’ has been registered since 2005 in respect of legal services and has been in use since 1997. The name ‘Singh & Singh’ and ‘Singh + Singh’ are identical to each other and there is a clear case of infringement under Section 29(2)(c) of the Trademarks Act, 1999.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Bench prima facie opined that the facts conspicuously demonstrated that the infringing marks were identical and were being used for identical services and an identical class of customers/clients.

Plaintiff 1 has a global reputation and goodwill and is servicing clients across the globe. Court found merit in the plaintiff’s contention that nowadays legal services are being rendered across the globe through internet and electronic means and law firms such as plaintiff 1 would have a reputation not limited by geographical boundaries.

Hence, there could be a strong possibility of confusion amongst the foreign clients/law firms relating to the two marks which are predominantly identical.

“…strong likelihood that they would be led to believe that ‘Singh + Singh’ is another branch or an associate office of ‘Singh & Singh’

 Adding to its analysis, Court stated that the adoption of identical mark/name by the defendant in deceptively similar colour combination on online platforms for providing legal services was fraught with mischief and did not appear to be bonafide.

In Court’s opinion, plaintiffs established a prima facie case and a balance of convenience was established in favour of the plaintiffs and they were likely to suffer an irreparable loss in case the injunction was not granted.

Therefore, till the next date of hearing, defendants, their partners/promoters, associates, family members, employees and anyone acting for and on their behalf were restrained from using the impugned marks including the name/mark “Singh + Singh”, “Singh + Singh LLP”, “Singh + Singh Lawyers LLP”, singhllp.com, singhllp, @singhsinghllp, Singh-Singh-LLP, the Singh + Singh impugned logo, or any other trademark/trade name/service name/trading style or domain name or Twitter handle, LinkedIN profile, Facebook profile, logo, device, etc., which was either identical to or deceptively similar to the Plaintiffs’ mark(s) ‘Singh & Singh’, ‘Singh & Singh Law Firm LLP’, ‘Singh & Singh.com’, ‘Singh & Singh Advocates’ or any other derivatives thereof so as to result in infringement of trade mark(s), passing off, acts of unfair competition, dilution etc. for rendering legal services, consultancy services related to law, or any other cognate/allied services, at any place or in any form including in print or electronic media, online platforms etc.

Defendant 6 was also directed to suspend the domain name of ‘www.singhllp.com’ till the next date of hearing.

Matter to be listed before the Court on 23-09-2021. [Singh & Singh Law Firm LLP v. Singh + Singh Lawyers LLP, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 3059, decided on 02-06-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Plaintiffs: Rajiv Nayar, Sandeep Sethi and Chander M Lall, Senior Advocates with Saurabh Seth and Tanmaya Mehta, Advocates.

For the Defendants: Divjyot Singh, Avsi Malik and Nipun Dwivedi, Advocates for D-1, 2 & 4.

Nimish Chib, Advocate for D-3 & 5.

Alipak Banerjee, Advocate for D-6 & 7.

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal
Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), Mumbai: The Bench of Pramod Kumar (Vice President) and Pavan Kumar Gadale (Judicial Member) allows Foreign Tax Credit to Amarchand & Mangaldas under Indo-Japanese Tax Treaty.

The issue in the instant matter was:

“Whether or not the authorities below were justified in declining tax credit under Article 23(2) of India Japan Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement [‘Indo Japanese tax treaty’, in short; (1990) 182 ITR (Stat) 380– as amended from time to time], in respect of taxes of Rs 80,55,856 withheld by its clients fiscally domiciled in Japan, on the facts and in the circumstances of this case.

Alternatively, assessee pleaded that in the event of the assessee being declined the tax credit in respect of the taxes so withheld in Japan, the assessee should at least be allowed a deduction, for the said amount, in the computation of its professional income.

In the instant case, the assessee is one of India’s well-known firms and is assessed to tax in the status of a partnership firm.

Further, it was stated that the return filed by the assessee was subjected to scrutiny assessment proceedings. The assessee had claimed a foreign tax credit of Rs 80,55,856 in respect of taxes withheld by its clients in Japan.

Adding to the above, it was stated that the taxes so withheld were at the rate of 10% on gross billing amounts, by treating the professional fees earned by the assessee in Japan as taxable in Japan. 

Assessing Officer opined that the taxes were wrongly withheld in Japan and therefore the assessee was not entitled to a foreign tax credit in respect of the same.

Commissioner (Appeals) noted that the taxes withheld by the Japanese clients were contrary to the scheme of the Indo Japanese tax treaty, and, therefore, the assessee was not entitled to any foreign tax credit for the same.

Being aggrieved with the above, assessee appealed before the Tribunal.

Analysis and Decision

Tribunal observed that there was no dispute about the fundamental legal position in terms of Article 23(2)(a) of Indo Japanese tax treaty,

“where a resident of India derives income which, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, may be taxed in Japan, India shall allow as a deduction from the tax on the income of that resident an amount equal to the Japanese tax paid in Japan, whether directly or by deduction.”

Further, the bench stated that

What essentially follows is that when in accordance with the provisions of Indo Japanese tax treaty, any income of Indian resident is taxed in Japan, the Indian resident will get the deduction, in the computation of his tax liability, taxes paid by the assessee in Japan- whether paid directly by the assessee or whether taxes were withheld in Japan.”

Issue to adjudicate:

Whether the assessee could reasonably be said to be taxable in Japan under Article 12, in respect of the professional income earned in Japan, of the Indo Japanese tax treaty?

Tribunal made another observation that there are overlapping areas in the definition of fees for technical services under Article 12(4), which covers’ technical, management and consultancy services’ vis-à-vis the definition of professional services income from which can be taxed under Article 14 as ‘income from independent personnel services’.

While continuing with the above observations, tribunal added that when a particular type of income is specifically covered by a treaty provision, the taxability of that type of income is governed by the specific provisions so contained in the treaty.

“When we are interpreting a treaty provision, we cannot be guided by any one rule of interpretation alone even when the results achieved on that basis come in conflict with the results reached at by way of applying the other applicable principles.”

Tribunal concluded that unless the provisions of Article 14 are held to be applicable only for individuals, the exclusion clause under Article 12(4) being confined to the individuals earning income taxable under Article 14 does not make sense.

“principles of interpretation of treaties, as indeed any statutory provision or legal document, are to be applied in a holistic manner, and no one principle of interpretation, howsoever well established, can have priority over another principle of interpretation which is legally binding.”

Bench in view of the above discussion found that under the scheme of this treaty, what is taxable under Article 14 is only the professional income of an individual and not of entities other than individuals.

“…in the scheme of the Indo Japanese tax treaty, Article 14 for independent personal services holds the field for the individuals only- particularly in the light of the exclusion clause under Article 12(4) being restricted to payment of fees for professional services to individuals alone.”

Hence, Tribunal found that the assessee was wrongly declined tax credit of Rs 80,55,856.

While parting with the decision, Tribunal expressed that in a situation in which a transaction by a resident of one of the contracting states is to be examined in both the treaty partner jurisdictions, from the point of view of taxability of income arising therefrom, different treatments being given by the treaty partner jurisdictions will result in incongruity and undue hardship to the assessee.

“…on the peculiarities of Indo Japanese tax treaty provisions, the legal fees paid to a partnership firm of lawyers can indeed be subjected to levy of tax under Article 12 as the exclusion clause under Article 12(4) does not get triggered for payments to persons other than individuals, and the provisions of Article 14 are required to be read in harmony with the provisions of Article 12(4).”

[Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co. v. Asst. Commr. of Income Tax, 2020 SCC OnLine ITAT 500, decided on 18-12-2020]


Appearances by:

Dr S M Lala, Dishesh Shrivastava, and Harsh Bafna, for the appellant.

S S Iyengar for the respondent.