The material is compiled by assistant lawyer Sofia Kurochka

Intellectual property

The Unitary Patent system

Launched: 1 May 2023

The new system provides for the establishment of a Unitary Patent, which will be regulated under the Unified Patent Court. Europe’s Unitary Patent is a new additional option for companies and inventors seeking to obtain patent protection in Europe. The unitary patent is a legal title that provides uniform protection across all participating countries on a one-stop-shop basis, providing huge cost advantages and reducing administrative burdens The Unitary Patent will provide unified protections in all EU countries that have ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA), including all three Baltic countries.

See also: Sorainen publication.



Guidelines on the applicability of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to horizontal co-operation agreements


Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/… of 1 June 2023 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to certain categories of research and development agreements

Date of effect: 1 July 2023

Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/… of 1 June 2023 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to certain categories of specialisation agreements

Adopted: 31 May 2023

Date of effect: following publication in the Official Journal of the EU

The revised Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations on Research and Development (‘R&D’) and Specialisation agreements (‘HBERs’) and Guidelines provide businesses with clearer and up-to-date guidance to help them assess the compatibility of their horizontal cooperation agreements with EU competition rules. The HBERs exempt R&D and specialisation agreements from the prohibition in Article 101(1) of the TFEU, subject to certain conditions.

See also: Press release.


Banking & Finance

European Central Bank Guide on qualifying holding procedures

Adopted: 23 May 2023

Final guide clarifies ECB supervisory practices for qualifying holding assessments. Guide aims to make ECB understood and support applicants in qualifying holding acquisitions, typically triggered by mergers and acquisitions projects. The Guide also provides information on complex acquisition structures, the application of the principle of proportionality and specific procedural elements related to qualifying holding acquisitions.



Retail Investment Package

Published: 24 May 2023

The Commission adopted a Retail Investment Package that places the consumers’ interests at the centre of retail investing. The package includes ambitious and wide-ranging measures to improve the way information is provided to retail investors about investment products and services, increase transparency and comparability of costs by requiring the use of a standard presentation and terminology on costs, address potential conflicts of interest in the distribution of investment products by banning inducements for “execution-only” sales and ensuring that financial advice is aligned with retail investors’ best interests, and other.

See also: Press release.


Crypto assets

Regulation (EU) of the European Parliament and of the Council on markets in crypto-assets, and amending Regulations (EU) No 1093/2010 and (EU) No 1095/2010 and Directives 2013/36/EU and (EU) 2019/1937 (Text with EEA relevance)

Adopted: 16 May 2023

Date of effect: following publication in the Official Journal of the EU

The regulation on Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) seeks to regulate various aspects of the crypto-asset industry. This includes rules on crypto-asset offerings and admission of crypto-assets into trading platforms, licensing requirements for crypto-asset service providers and rigorous obligations on stablecoin offerings and issuers.

The rules aim to strengthen investor protection, maintain financial stability, ensure that crypto-assets are regulated across the EU on a consistent and harmonised basis and foster innovation and the attractiveness of the EU for the crypto-asset sector.

See also: Press release.



Directive (EU) 2023/977 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 May 2023 on the exchange of information between the law enforcement authorities of Member States and repealing Council Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA

Adopted: 10 May 2023

Date of effect: 11 June 2023

This Directive establishes harmonised rules for the exchange of information between the competent law enforcement authorities for the purpose of preventive, detecting or investigating criminal offences. It updates and replaces Council Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA. It seeks to address problems concerning the lack of clear and robust common rules on information exchange, lack of common structures and efficient management tools for exchanging information, and lack of common practice in the use of existing communication channels.

See also: Press release.