- Identify what processes in business require data transfer from the EU to UK
- Put in place the appropriate process to manage the safe transfer of data (SCCs; BCRs etc.) before 30 March 2019 at the very latest, where the impact would be most detrimental
- Heighten awareness amongst staff involved where transfers to the UK occur
- Update privacy policies to reflect the change in procedure and in UK status
| Options for treatment of rights | Advantages | Disadvantages | Action(s) required
| EU rights would cover UK IP | Guarantee pan-EU protection without cost | Unlikely | Lobby government for a trade treaty to agree this.
| EU rights are enforceable in UK if owner desires / or pays a fee. | Easy to append to EU rights and would cover EU rights holders for UK application | Resolving the status of more than a million pre-existing marks will be a long process and risky (have TMs been used in the UK? / only in the UK?). Making the registration subject to a fee might reduce the sheer numbers | Apply separately for a UK right.
| EU rights re-examined and subject to a fee before registration in the UK | Guarantee pan-EU / UK protection | Refusals would create complications | Identify those rights which are used in the UK and apply for a separate UK right.
| Pan-European rights no longer protected in UK | Opportunity created to licence rights separately. EU judgments will not apply in the UK | Greater complexity when registering EU rights Any existing sub-licences would require amendment / renegotiation | Review existing licences and agree an approach.
| EU unregistered design rights will no longer apply in the UK | Removes a risk of exercising a right in the UK | Risk of damage to the fashion industry which use innovative EU designs | Register key designs after 9 months or rely on UK unregistered design right.
| Parallel goods can no longer be imported from EEA | Brands can control pricing more effectively and prevent cheap imports from the EEA | Issues with longstanding distribution agreements reliant on such imports. Prices may increase too far and may face legal or legislative challenge | Review pricing strategy and imported goods distributed. Summary However these seemingly interminable negotiations may be resolved and whether or not an end to phase 1 is in sight when ‘B’ day arrives on the 29 March 2019, UK businesses owe it to themselves to prepare for the consequences, good or bad. At the very least, companies would be well advised to use the time available to assess what they might need to do immediately after and potentially before 29 March, if the situation becomes clearer at any point before. While it is a challenge understanding what preparation can be of benefit in any event, auditing your current commercial contracts, data transfers and EU IPR is a good start and will undoubtedly place you ahead of the competition. For support with any of your business enquiries in relation to Brexit, LawBite’s Lawbriefs will be happy to discuss your needs and do what they can to help kick start your business’ Brexit immunisation programme. Don’t let the greatest change in the UK’s trading relationship in the last forty-five years engulf your business and hamper your future success. This article was written by LawBriefs lawyer Adrien Herbert. If you would like to speak to her, or any of our lawyers about Brexit-proofing your business by planning your review of contracts, reviewing your data protection policies or looking at your Intellectual Property post Brexit, please enter an enquiry or call us today on 020 7148 1066 to speak to a member of our friendly Client Care Team.
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