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Interestingly, the spectre of Brexit seems further away than ever before, despite the British electorate’s vote to leave the EU in June. This is due to the UK government’s reluctance to trigger Article 50, which itself is a complex piece of legislation that was never designed to be acted upon.
3 Areas of Corporate Law that may change with Brexit
Make no mistake; however, new Prime Minister Theresa May remains committed to triggering Article 50 at some point in the future, a decision that will have a cumulative impact on corporate law and legislation. So, let’s take a look at the seminal areas of commercial law that are most likely to be impacted: –
1. Intellectual Property Law
The UK’s Intellectual Property (IP) law is one of many that have been derived from the EU, so Britain’s departure from the union will impact everything from trade mark registrations to patents and copyright. While national IP rights will remain unaffected by the change, those relating to Pan-European brands and concepts would cease to apply in their existing form in the UK.
Some form of further registration would probably be required, but it would be wise to consult with a market expert such as Withers Worldwide to understand your exact liability.
2. Data Protection
Big data is a huge driver of sales and marketing drives in the modern age, while the secure collation and storage of information is derived primarily from the EU’s 1995 Data Protection Derivative. This would have been subject to a revision had the UK planned on remaining in the EU, with the General Data Protection Regulation taking its place and providing a significant tougher and more restricted regime.
Now that Brexit has occurred, however, it appears as though the two-year transition period for the terms of the exit to be negotiated will coincide with the shift between these two regulations. Going forward, the UK government will need to retain the latest legislation on an interim basis while giving consideration to an adapted, national alternative.
3. Competition Law
Once the UK does finally deign to leave the EU, little will initially change in relation to existing anti-competitive agreements and monopolies. This is because the UK’s current Competition Act of 1998, replicates the EU equivalent, while union rules would still apply to the numerous British companies that activity trade within the single market.
In this respect, the landscape of competition law is likely to remain unchanged within the borders of the UK. We may see dual activity and parallel civil investigations by both the UK’s CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) and the European Commission, however, as under current legislation only one of the entities can review international cartels.