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Client updates / High Tech
For the first time, companies providing virtual currency services will be required to comply with Israeli anti-money laundering provisions. This follows an amendment to the Prohibition of Money Laundering Order that recently came into effect. The amendment will apply to financial asset service providers obligated to hold a license under the Control of Financial Services Law.
The Black Shadow hacking group’s attack on Cyberserve, reported a few days ago, has resulted (at this point in time) in the leaking of a database with more than 800,000 records pertaining to various individuals and the exposure of additional databases. This attack raises important questions about the relations between database owners and the third parties with whom they engage to receive various services relating to business activities that incidentally involve their data.
In order to promote the technology and biomedical industries and to restore the Israeli stock exchange to its position as an efficient and attractive arena for capital raising to companies, an ad hoc committee was formed to analyze feasible tax incentives.
Although Israel is a world leader in the fintech field, companies operating in this area face many regulatory challenges. A newly published legal memorandum aims to enable the creation of a “sandbox”, with inspiration from various programs already implemented in Japan, Australia, and Singapore. The goal is to establish a unique experimental environment, a “regulatory sandbox,” where regulatory relief is granted to companies who choose to participate in the program.
A recent decision by the Economic Division of the Tel-Aviv District Court has emphasized the requirement for officers and decision makers in a company, to undertake a stricter review standard when making decisions, especially in conflict of interest situations. Accordingly companies must now increase the scrutiny on the decision making of directors in private companies, an important decision in light of the current economic climate.
The Israel Securities Authority has approved expanding the trading activity conducted on the trading platform for institutional investors of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (referred to as TACT), so that additional types of securities may be issued and traded on it.
A new, welcome initiative by the Israel Patent Office intends to allow entrepreneurs, through a preliminary and fast-tracked process, to submit an application for the provisional registration of a patent. This is a significant step, which could revolutionize entrepreneurial innovation in Israel and make it easier on many Israelis who wish to protect future patents. In the course of the fast-track process, the application is not considered for a year, and applicants are able to set an early submission date for the patent's registration.
Following a previous Israel Innovation Authority call for bids for companies developing technologies to help deal with the coronavirus crisis, the IIA has opened a channel to support companies facing financial hardships due to the virus.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) has issued a major easement for the companies it supports, in the manner in which payroll expenses for companies in the midst of carrying out approved plans will be recognized.
The Governmental Cyber Security Unit has published a new directive according to which material service providers to government, infrastructure, and finance bodies will be required to adopt a common and unified standard for cyber protection.
In October 2019, Israel's Attorney General published a detailed guideline document addressed to the legal counsels of various government ministries.
Bank of Israel published a position paper with respect to the activity of banks' payment apps in the B2C market. The position paper is the conclusion of a long battle waged by credit card companies against the banks.
A precedential judgment was handed down on option plans for employees in respect of section 102 of the Income Tax Ordinance. The court ruled that when a tax assessor is notified of the allocation of options in accordance with section 102 and fails to respond within 90 days, the plan is approved and the assessor cannot later claim that this is not so, except in very exceptional cases.
The Ministry of Economy and Industry and the Authority for Investments and Development of the Industry and Economy are presenting a series of steps to bring the Encouragement of Capital Investments Law in line with the Israeli market of 2019.
A new circular by the Israel Tax Authority determines the terms for granting options to employees when the vesting of such options is contingent upon performance milestones or the occurrence of an IPO or exit event.
The Delaware Court of Chancery issued a precedent recently, whereby an acquisition agreement may be cancelled due to the occurrence of a “Material Adverse Effect” (MAE) in the acquired entity.
Israel’s Innovation Authority (the IIA, formerly the Office of the Chief Scientist) has issued new rules regarding the licensing of IIA-funded know-how for use by multinational corporations outside of Israel.
On June 2018, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office published a memorandum on the proposed Cyber Defense and National Cyber Directorate Law. This law is designed to regulate the National Cyber Directorate’s purpose, functions, and powers.