Data Protection and IP

Intellectual Property (IP)

Although the most commonly owned type of IP is copyright (and this will remain largely unaffected by Brexit, save for certain cross-border issues), there are other rights that arise in the UK under EU regulations that will need to be ported across to become UK-specific. The main ones are Community trade marks (CTMs) and Community registered designs.

Tughans has been advising clients who own CTMs in relation to new comparable UK rights as contemplated by the draft Withdrawal Agreement, which (as was proposed) ensured that holders of CTMs and registered Community designs will automatically become holders of comparable IP rights in the UK, having the same renewal dates and taking the filing or priority dates as the corresponding EU rights.

Data Protection

Tughans has been leading a number of projects for clients considering and advising upon the impact of Brexit on the transfer of personal data from EU 27 countries (including Ireland) to the UK (including NI) and vice versa.

As currently proposed, The European Union Withdrawal Act 2018, the Data Protection Act 2018, and the Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 will (in effect) operate to transpose GDPR into UK domestic legislation. As such, data processing in NI and transfers of personal data from the UK (including NI) to any of the EU27 countries will continue to be governed by GDPR.

At this point, the decision as to the adequacy or otherwise of the UK’s data protection regime has been reserved by the European Commission (until such times as the UK becomes a ‘third country’). This is a cause of concern, raising the prospect of standard contract clauses being employed to manage compliance.

If you or your business have any questions on the potential implications of Brexit in relation to data protection and intellectual property, please feel free to get in touch.