Malta Technology Law

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In the fast-paced technology sector, businesses are increasingly aware of the importance of relying on lawyers who are proactive and well-informed on the continuous developments of the technology industry. Reflecting the growth of this industry over the past years, Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates has increasingly provided assistance with the legal issues in the field of Technology Law to small and medium sized businesses in Malta as well as multi-national companies with a presence in Malta, in an unconventional technology scene that transcends geographical boundaries.

Technology clients range from start-up companies to well established corporations operating in newtech sectors including app development, AI, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies which seek to obtain specialized and quality advice on business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The emergence of AI and machine learning derivatives over the last century will perhaps define our technological advances and achievements in history, with the next notable technological advancement being perhaps quantum computing.

AI has made what many thought was impossible, possible - attributing human-like ‘intelligence’ into inanimate problem-solving creations we call computers. The possibilities with AI are endless and is a playground of vast possibilities for computer scientists across the globe. Naturally, as with any other technological advancement in society, regulation follows suit.

Keeping abreast with international and local legislative polices and legislative proposals is central to our ethos at Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates. Accordingly, our knowledge of the underlying technical matters and the regulatory developments allow us to advice on AI within the status quo, even where AI related legislation is still in the works.

Nevertheless, cementing our technical knowledge on AI consisting mainly of code, it is protected through the Maltese Copyright Act, allowing us to dictate proprietary value and safeguard against unauthorised use thereof.

The Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA)

In determining the regulatory framework, which is being prepared on AI, one may look at the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (‘MDIA’) which was set up back in 2018, the purpose of which being to oversee and foster the development of the innovative technology sector in Malta by attributing due recognition and regulation of ‘Innovative Technology Arrangements’ and related services.

Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act

The Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act (‘ITAS’) in fact crystalises the status of an Innovative Technology Arrangement (‘ITA’) and provides the possibility of certification of such ITAs – notably being distributed ledger technologies as well as decentralised ledger technologies and smart contracts, at current.

DLTs and Cryptocurrency

Whilst DLTs and cryptocurrency are mutually exclusive from each other, DLTs have facilitated the necessary platforms for cryptocurrency to thrive. Cryptocurrency has in turn utilised DLT platform bases in the form of Cyrpto exchanges and wallets to pierce the close-knitted conventional ecosystem of fiat currency and commodity derivatives, such as gold, silver, oil and any of which has an appreciative influence on fiat currency and the economy.

Our IT lawyers are well informed and conversant on both the positive opportunities which the MDIA and ITAS regimes provide in Malta for DLT platforms, as well as the revolutionary cryptocurrency regime headed under the concept of a VFA and corollary Financial Instrument Test.

Virtual Financial Assets (VFA)

With the enactment of the VFA Act in 2018, and in conjunction with the Financial Instrument Test, holders of cryptocurrencies and tokens were able to have their ownership and value duly recognised and protected in Malta. This likewise opened the way for the legitimacy of a ‘VFA’ as a store of value and medium of exchange as payment. Moreover, the Maltese Tax law regime has also incorporated the above underpinnings of the VFA regime.

We are therefore able to advise on both legal and formality related considerations for activities surrounding cryptocurrencies and tokens as well as any consequent tax implications on such. The holder of the cryptocurrencies or tokens is therefore able to make full advantages of the avantgarde and forward-thinking environment in Malta for cryptocurrency proliferation, from beginning to end.

Malta Technology Law

Building on the 2010 “Europe’s ‘Smart Island’ national strategy of developing Malta into a centre for tech-legal excellence, the  Digital Malta National Strategy 2020 further developed the frameworks to assist IT start-ups in setting up their own cost-effective operations, thus preparing Malta for the next generation of technology. This strategy has laid the fundamentals for a world class infrastructure, increased the reception of e-business by the general public, and focused on the development of an IT-geared human capital. The result: Malta becoming a centre for technology and internet-based companies to set up shop within our shores, with the confidence that the island has embarked on this project with the necessary ‘can-do’ spirit.

Malta Technology Sector

Chetcuti Cauchi provides advice on a variety of Technology Law related matters. This includes areas such as web technology, domain name planning and related disputes, intellectual property issues, technology and transfer of technology agreements, Internet Service Provider (ISP) liability, data protection, securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, as well as advice on the legal implications of hacking, security infringements, encryption and piracy. Integral to this practice group is also providing assistance with confidentiality agreements, employment contracts, IT outsourcing arrangements, software as well as hardware supply and implementation agreements.

Malta Communications Sector

This area includes traditional telecommunications, cloud communications, software-enabled communications, advanced communication application (apps) services and communications equipment manufacturing, among others. Our firm has assisted clients in this area with confidentiality agreements, employment contracts, IT outsourcing arrangements, software as well as hardware supply and implementation agreements is also core to the telecoms sector.

Our Malta Technology Lawyers

Proficient in the incentives that Malta provides to the Technology Law sector, including incentives to the ecommerce, technology and communications industry, Chetcuti Cauchi offers tailor-made solutions to individuals seeking to benefit from a wide range of fiscal and financial benefits. Our Technology Law team includes corporate and tax advisors who ensure that the advice is multi-faceted taking into consideration all aspects of the transaction in question.  

Our Technology Law attorneys, specialised in these areas, bring knowledge and professional experience to bear in the evolving areas of IT, telecommunications and internet/ecommerce. We work closely with other colleagues in our firm, including tax advisors, accountants, intellectual property and employment lawyers. We also work hand in hand with external collaborators who might need to be roped in any particular project, including banks, government departments, auditors, payment gateways, ISPs and co-location centres. All this ensures that the solution caters for any client's diverse needs. 


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Key Contacts

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti

Senior Partner, Tax & Immigration

+356 22056111

Dr Charlene Mifsud

Partner, Corporate & Commercial

+356 2205 6298

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