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Currency/Intellectual Property/Contracts

Have you considered the following?

Contracts review

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Context

Some of the terms in existing contracts may no longer be relevant post Brexit, or may raise legal or practical questions in future.

Your business should consider

Do your contracts refer to any terms that should be reviewed in light of the UK leaving the EU?

Do they make references to the UK being a member state/to the EU?

Does your contract rely on EU regulation applicable to contractual arrangements?

Resources and information

UK Government technical notice on civil legal cases if there’s no Brexit withdrawal agreement: http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/handling-civil-legal-cases-that-involve-eu-countries-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

Currency risk

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Context

The months following the EU referendum saw significant currency volatility – this may occur in future.

Your business should consider

What currency are you being paid in?

Have you considered the possibility of further currency movements, and how this might affect existing and future contracts?

Resources and information

Your local Chamber can give you recommendations for mitigating these risks. Find your local Chamber here.

Intellectual Property

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Context

Parts of UK intellectual property (IP) law will change when the UK leaves the EU.

If there is a deal with the EU:

  • The UK will continue to protect all existing registered European Union Trade Marks, Registered Community Designs, and Unregistered Community Designs.
  • The UK will continue to recognise database rights held by EEA nationals, businesses and residents.
  • Supplementary Protection Certificate applications that are pending at the point of exit will be determined in line with current EU regulation.
  • IP professionals will continue to be able to represent clients in pending cases before the EU Intellectual Property Office until their conclusion.
  • The European Patents system will not be affected when we leave the EU as this is governed by the (non-EU) European Patents Convention.

If there is no deal with the EU:

  • The UK will continue to protect all existing registered European Union Trade Marks, Registered Community Designs, and Unregistered Community Designs after we leave the EU. The UK will also continue to protect existing EU and EEA EFTA database rights.
  • The UK will preserve EU law on patents (notably in relation to Supplementary Protection Certificates), copyright and exhaustion of IP rights on the UK statute book.
  • While there will be no change for the importation of goods into the UK, there may however be restrictions on the parallel import of goods from the UK into the EEA. Businesses undertaking such activities may need to check with right holders to see if permission is needed.

Resources and information

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have published guidance on intellectual property after Brexit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/intellectual-property-after-brexit

Copyright if there’s no Brexit deal: http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/copyright-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

Exhaustion of intellectual property rights if there’s no Brexit deal:http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/exhaustion-of-intellectual-property-rights-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

Patents if there’s no Brexit deal: http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/patents-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

Trade marks and designs if there’s no Brexit deal: http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/trade-marks-and-designs-if-theres-no-brexit-deal