THE WIRE

Universal Stakes, Who Owns The Rights For Space Exploitation

Tiny Luxembourg is taking a leading role in devising the laws necessary to regulate the business of space exploration.

Of the 195 countries in the world, only 27 are smaller than Luxembourg. The landlocked country in western Europe has the world's second highest GDP per capita (more than $104,000). Its lands are rich in iron ore and, since the 1970s, Luxembourg has been promoting itself as a hub of financial services in Europe. The country has had a stable government and is generally welcoming of foreigners. But in the near future — or even today — knowing this much about Luxembourg will not be enough.

What sets Luxembourg apart, in Europe and around the world, is the choice of its political leadership to use the opportunities afforded by space exploration and associated technologies to develop the country. On July 13, Luxembourg's Chamber of Deputies, its unicameral legislative body, passed a law that recognizes the legal ownership of resources mined in outer space by private companies. The law is reportedly compliant with the Outer Space Treaty (OST) 1967, ratified by 107 countries, including Luxembourg.

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How Luxembourg Could Cash In On Brexit

The tiny European country has improved its position as a post-Brexit business destination by reforming its fiscal rules and digital environment.

LUXEMBOURG — Plenty of people have reason to bemoan Britain's retreat from the European Union. But for others, Brexit could spell opportunity. And perhaps nowhere is that truer than in Luxembourg, with its booming financial center focused on investment funds management services and financial technology, or FinTech, as it's sometimes called.

The Brexit effect may, in fact, have already begun for the tiny Grand Duchy. In January, Japan's Rakuten Europe Bank launched its trading activities in Luxembourg. Two Chinese banks — China Everbright Bank and the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank — also have plans to set up shop in this nerve center of asset management in the EU. And in October, Britain's M&G Investments applied with the CSSF, the financial sector supervisor, for permission to start a fund distribution firm there.

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New Twists and Turns In Rubik's Cube Trademark Battle

Anyone can make and sell a colorful, cube-shaped 3-D brainteaser with six twisting faces covered by nine square stickers — just don't call it a Rubik's Cube.

The Luxembourg-based European Union Court of Justice weighed in Wednesday on an intellectual property case that has puzzled Europeans for years, with a formal recommendation that "shapes with essential characteristics which are inherent in the generic function or functions of the goods" cannot be trademarked, La Stampa reports.

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Luxembourg, From Tax Shelter to Animal Haven

LUXEMBOURG — This tiny country has long been known for its unsavory status as a tax haven. But now Luxembourg may be on its way to forging a new title: as animal rights capital of the world.

A new government bill aims to protect the "security and dignity" of animals, and recognizes that they possess "certain rights," reports Le Quotidien, a prominent daily in Luxembourg.

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