FINNAIR AND FINLAND COVID-19 UPDATE

 

FBCC Member Finnair shared the following information for all our network (Updated 23.3.):

As all are aware the European situation is changing daily and sometimes by the hour, this makes life very difficult for all concerned especially our customers. Finnair will do all we can to bring people home as borders within Europe close.

Finland has just released its COVID-19 restrictions. The following will apply from 19MAR at 00.00 hours HEL time and will be in place until 13APR 2020 24.00 hours HEL time:

 

  • Border Controls will be reinstated on all intra-Schengen routes
  • HEL airport will be kept open for cargo flights and for returning passengers (see below list of passengers that can be accepted for travel to/via HEL)
  • Foreigners who are currently in Finland are allowed to exit the country
  • Finnish nationals are recommended not to travel abroad

 

Only the following passengers will be allowed entry:

  • Nationals of Finland
  • Family members of nationals of Finland (provided that the family member is entitled to enter and stay in Finland)
  • Holders of valid Finnish residence permits
  • EU nationals who are registered as staying in Finland
  • EU nationals and holders of EU issued permanent residence permits, who are returning to their respective EU country of residence via Finland
  • their health condition needs to be taken in to account – if the passenger shows any signs of illness, entry may be denied
  • Non-EU nationals who are leaving the Schengen area via Finland to return to their country of residence; e.g. Japanese national travelling CDG-HEL-HND

 

Non-Schengen to non-Schengen travel via HEL:

  • Travel from a non-Schengen country to another non-Schengen country is allowed via HEL, however, the passenger should be traveling to his/her country of residence and remain in the non-Schengen transit area of the airport. The passenger must be eligible to enter at his destination, taking into consideration any possible Corona restrictions of the destination (therefore travel should be limited to passengers returning home)

 

Over the last few weeks we have made a number of announcements  regards  our change policy, please find below what this is currently:

In case a flight is cancelled: Full refund or postpone travel until 30 November 2020*.

In case a flight is still operating: Refund according to ticketed fare rules or postpone travel until 30 November 2020*.

Customers affected by local government restrictions: Full refund or postpone travel until 30 November 2020*. For example, passenger unable to enter the country due to travel ban or quarantine but flight still operating.

* Customers can change their travel date flexibly without a change fee and travel until 30 November, 2020 with the following policy:

  • Ticket issued by 30 April 2020
  • Original travel date is latest on 30 November 2020
  • Finnair operated and marketed flight on Finnair ticket
  • Rebook into the same class as the original flight or lowest available in the same cabin
  • Ticket revalidation permitted
  • Rerouting not permitted
  • Change made by 30 November 2020
  • Applies to all ticket types
  • OS AY CHANGE OF TRAVEL DUE TO CORONA must be added to all changed bookings

Please note that the change in the ticket rules doesn’t apply to certain agents with  special agreements with Finnair i.e. Finnair Holidays, Aurinkomatkat (Suntours) and Group bookings. It DOES apply to individual Tour Operator bookings using TO fares.

Find out an overview of April-June 2020 traffic here!

Follow Finnair’s website for updates!

Intellectual Property and OSS: How to avoid splash damage

All developers will be familiar with Open Source Software (OSS) and how convenient it is, but they may not be as familiar with the legal requirements associated with the varying associated licences out there.
Rayyan Mughal, a commercial contract lawyer at the FBCC member Marks & Clerk talks more about this topic in his latest article featured on VR/AR Pioneers.

OSS licences fall into effectively two groups; permissive and ‘copyleft’.
Permissive licences are those which allow developers to build the OSS into their own code without any commercial restrictions.
Copyleft licences, on the other hand, are generally much more restrictive and often require developers using this kind of OSS to ensure their derivative work is also made open source.
This obligation to make new code open source can deny developers access to a key form of protection in the form of confidential information and trade secrets.

There are varying intellectual property rights which cover the work done by developers and businesses working within the VR/AR space. Rayyan Mughal concentrates on copyright. Copyright seeks to protect the tangible form of expression of ideas and not the ideas themselves.

The important point to note for developers and/or businesses is that when using OSS they should ensure they are fully aware of the licence terms associated with the OSS they are using. The fall-out from not doing this is that the licence terms of the OSS could potentially preclude them from categorising the source code, for example.

What if a business is contracting a third party to create something for them in this area, though?

Read the full article at VR/AR Pioneers.

 

 

Coping with Coronavirus: Advice for Businesses

FBCC member UHY Hacker Young shared useful advice regarding Coronavirus. You can find the full article written by Andrew Hulse here!

Due to Coronavirus some businesses will be faced with loss of trade whilst others will no doubt experience staff shortages due to illness or fear of it. UHY Hacker Young’s advice is to avoid over-reacting but prepare for a period of disruption.

Read the key points of the article below:

Planning

Now is the time to plan for damage limitation. To make decisions about the action you should take, you need to understand your cost base and embark on some kind of financial modelling, using your intuition about likely scenarios. On the other hand, if your business is already facing financial problems, insolvency advice is needed.

Keep your people safe

Ensure that your staff have enough information to recognise symptoms of corona virus and that there is a clear reporting system in place. Develop an action plan for your workplace so that if any team member, or visitor, is suspected of having the virus steps can be taken immediately to mitigate its spread. Make sure that all of your team are aware of the plan.

Employees’ rights

Employees have a right to be paid in full if an employer instructs an employee to stay away from work because, they have just returned from a virus hotspot. However, if an employee refuses to come to work their rights to be paid are severely limited.

Read the full article written by Andrew Hulse here!

FBCC MEMBER MARKS & CLERK IS RECRUITING

The FBCC Member Marks & Clerk is recruiting a Business Development Executive.

The Business Development (BD) Executive will provide high quality and effective marketing and BD support for Marks & Clerk Law. This will include supporting on individual client development initiatives, key and priority client programs, pitch proposals, legal directory submissions, marketing collateral, events, and significant ad-hoc projects.  The role is an integral part of the wider Marks & Clerk marketing and business development (MBD) team in the UK and worldwide, with specific responsibility for assisting the MBD initiatives of the partners and solicitors of MCL. Travel to other Marks & Clerk offices around the UK will be expected.

Marks & Clerk LLP is the leading and largest firm of Patent and Trade Mark attorneys in the UK with over 60 partners and 350 employees. Their attorneys are highly skilled in all technical fields.  Marks & Clerk has 8 offices in the UK: London, Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

You can read more about the position and apply here.

FBCC MEMBER MARKS & CLERK IS RECRUITING

The FBCC Member Marks & Clerk is recruiting a Formalities Team Leader.

The Formalities Team Leader is responsible for providing administrative support to fee earners and for overseeing the electronic workflows of their respective team, ensuring workflows are correctly maintained and tasks are properly allocated.

Marks & Clerk LLP is the leading and largest firm of Patent and Trade Mark attorneys in the UK with over 60 partners and 350 employees. Their attorneys are highly skilled in all technical fields.  Marks & Clerk has 8 offices in the UK: London, Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

You can read more about the position and apply here.

How can trade marks benefit VR/AR technology?

Trade marks can be a powerful tool for protecting branding associated with VR/AR technology. Vicky Butterworth, an intellectual property lawyer of FBCC member Marks & Clerk tells more about the topic in her latest article featured on VR AR Pioneers:

Trade marks act as a badge of origin, identifying goods and services of one business from another.  In order to attract registered trade mark protection a ‘sign’ must, amongst other things, be capable of being represented clearly and precisely.

It is not essential to seek registered trade mark protection for your brand, but there are clear advantages in doing so rather than relying on unregistered trade mark rights in your brand. A registered trade mark is an asset which can be commercially exploited and can help to attract and persuade investors, is relatively easy to enforce against infringers compared to unregistered trade mark rights and
can act as a good deterrent against copycats and free-riders.

As technology has progressed, so has the sophistication and scope of trade mark protection. ‘Non-traditional’ types of trade mark now include sounds, motions, holograms, gestures and moving images. This opens up the possibility of finding creative ways to protect different VR/AR mechanics as registered trade marks.

A trade mark registration gives the owner exclusive use of the mark, so it is important to carefully consider how wide to cast your net with your trade mark ‘specification’. What about using third party branding in the VR/AR space? If considering using a third party brand in VR/AR technology, care must be taken. A sensible starting point would be to seek express clearance from the brand owner.
Last but not least, a strong brand identity will help set you apart from your competitors.  Suitable registered trade mark protection (which may cover more than one ‘sign’) will help support, nurture and protect your brand both now and in the future.

Read more of the initiative from VR AR Pioneers.

FBCC WELCOMES A NEW CORPORATE MEMBER UHY HACKER YOUNG

The Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce is pleased to introduce to you our new Corporate Member, UHY Hacker Young! UHY Hacker Young are a national firm of accountants and business advisers, ranked in the UK’s top 20. Their 100 partners and 540 professional staff operate from 22 locations across the UK.

Firms clients include private individuals, privately owned businesses, fully listed and AIM clients, FCA regulated, not-for profit organisations and more.  A large proportion of their clients have been with the firm from business start-up positions all the way through to them helping their clients achieve their public listings. UHY Hacker Yong has grown with and around their clients.

UHY Hacker Young’s key services include:

• corporate taxation
• private client taxation
• audit and business assurance
• corporate finance, including fundraising, due diligence and flotations
• business review and strategic planning
• management accounts, including outsourced cloud accounting services
• VAT advice, compliance services, health checks and help with HMRC investigations; and
• recovery and restructuring.

UHY Hacker Young is a founding member of UHY International, which is currently the 16th largest accountancy network globally. Since it was established, UHY International has grown to cover 325 business centres in more than 100 countries worldwide, bringing together the global expertise of independent member firms, who are all highly regarded, professional and reputable in their own local markets. Read more about the company and their services on their website.
For more information please contact Corporate Tax Director Nikhil Oza at n.oza@uhy-uk.com

XR – Is there a space in this world for Patents?

In the field of Extended Reality, is there space for Patents?  Andrew Hartley and Christian Balcer of FBCC member Marks & Clerk answer this question in their latest article featured on VR AR Pioneers:

Patents are registered IP rights, which provide legal protection for inventions. Whether you use them for the active protection or promotion of your technology, to raise funding, or to plan your exit strategy, patents represent a commercial tool which compliment your business’ goals and targets.

There are thousands of different patent applications out there for XR technology, covering the ever-popular fields of medical devices, data processing and e-commerce, through to education and beyond. This makes specialist XR patent attorneys, those who are well versed in the intricacies of both the opportunities and pitfalls associated with the ever-evolving landscape of this sector, key.

As a pioneer in this field, if you have some concepts that you believe are key to your commercial success, discuss with a patent attorney before you live to regret it. The quicker you do this, the more likely it is that you will be able to secure the rights to your innovations and beat the competition to it.

Read more of the initiative from VR AR Pioneers.

FBCC Member Finnmark Ltd expands with new hires and is moving to larger premises this year

(Jake Newport and Max Newport)

FBCC Member Finnmark Ltd are known in the industry for their uncompromising dedication to quality and authenticity when it comes to the sale of sauna equipment and bespoke installations. The growing company, which was founded in 2016, is based in County Durham’s Enterprise City.

Their aim is to educate people on how to use sauna properly, show people how to get the most from the experience and actively publicise the wide range of health benefits associated with frequent sauna use. In fact, they’ve just gone live with a new section in their stories called Sauna Health Benefits. You can read more by clicking here

Jake Newport (left in the photo) is the Managing Director of Finnmark Sauna. He recalls the early days and how a gap in the market made up his mind to set up the company. He said, “I was first inspired by Finnish sauna after working out in Finland as a sales agent for high-quality sauna brands such as Narvi. I then fell in love with the real experience but whilst trying to sell equipment into the UK trade market it became clear that my contacts weren’t overly interested in the highest of quality and durable equipment available. Quickly realising I couldn’t sell into trade, and with very little money to my name, I built a web shop and started retailing the equipment to the public.

When I was selling to trade I didn’t meet one company in the UK who’d been to Finland, were interested in finding out about the full experience, or built anything near to how they are built over there. Unfortunately, it means a lot of people’s experience of sauna in the UK is when they visit a health club. Many of those cheap, modular designs are not properly ventilated, they don’t have the right insulation or vapour sealing and they have a hidden heater with no stones.”

He added, “The Finns regularly go in for over forty minutes, have a cold plunge or shower and repeat the process over the course of several hours. The experience offers a number of health benefits, gives you a big endorphin high and aids sleep. I was confident there was a gap in the market and within the first month, we made our first big sale of £2000. At that point, I started implementing digital marketing tactics my competitors weren’t doing which secured lots of early sales and funded the initial growth of the business.”

In the early days, Finnmark sauna had a few difficulties with organising design work and, at around the same time, Jake’s brother Max recently graduated as a designer and was working in high-end hi-fi. Max took a look at the design material the company was paying for and mentioned he could do a much better job so he was brought into the business. The quality of his innovative design work proved to be a real springboard. It meant that in the three years of growing Finnmark as a bespoke installation company turnover tripled year on year and they very quickly became a £300,000 turnover business.

Early on, the company was fortunate enough to get good breaks doing some high-quality installations. The quality of the equipment, materials and design was exactly what clients wanted and they’ve now filled an order book until summer 2020. Finnmark has installed for TV personalities, producers, sportspeople and celebrities. Jake enthused, “After impressing such clients and the architects and interior designers working alongside us on the projects, there’s been an upward spiral effect because people really see that we care about the quality and longevity of what we do. Many of them have been to Finland, tried the real deal and that’s what they want  in their homes.”

The company has taken on more employees and is moving to larger premises in the county with that risk being mitigated a little by some help by the County Durham Growth Fund and a government-backed NEL loan.

Jake finished, “We’ve been fortunate enough to employ some really experienced people in their field and we’ve been able to do so by being progressive in the way we work. We offer flexi time, and a masseuse comes in on a Friday. If you want people at the top of their game you need to invest in them and show them the value of their worth. The North East has some of the best tradespeople in the world. There’s good availability of quality and reliable people and the area has a great heritage of manufacturing and workmanship. It’s also a very cost-effective place to have the business and the support from the people of Durham has been great. I try to give back at youth business events at the university and local schools where I see lots of potential and enthusiasm for business in the area.”

 

For more information, check out their website by clicking here!

FBCC Welcomes a new corporate member Marks & Clerk

The Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce is delighted to introduce you to our new corporate member: Marks & Clerk! Marks & Clerk has long been recognised as one of the leading intellectual property firms across the globe, with eight offices across the UK and a further nine in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific.

The firm offers a comprehensive range of intellectual property services – covering patents, trade marks, designs and copyright. This includes obtaining protection worldwide, portfolio management, strategic and commercial advice, contract – drafting and negotiation, enforcement, due diligence and litigation.

 

In addition, we offer a wider range of services, complimentary to our mainstream services including IP valuations as well as product and design consultancy services. You can also access the extensive international network and intellectual property connections that we work closely with around the world to receive an integrated world-wide service.

Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce

The FBCC is an independent, non-profit organisation, recognized throughout the Finnish, British and international business communities. The Chamber offers four different membership categories: Patron, Corporate, Professional and Young Professional.