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Are you prepared for Brexit?

Now that Brexit is getting real, it is vital for you to stay informed about what happens next and how it affects your business.

Below you are able to download our FBCMB regional tube maps, where you can find your sector line and see the issues that will affect you on each stop. You will travel through zones covering international standards, EU rules, opportunities, people and trade. On each step of this journey you will need advice and our team are on hand to provide it.

   

 

Your big question is how you will do business in the short term in the event of no deal, in the medium term during any transitional period between Brexit and the entry into force of a new UK-EU trade agreement, and in the long term under the new trade agreement?

It is already clear, however, that you or those you supply are not going to enjoy the same access to the EU's Single Market under a trade agreement as you do while the UK is a member of the EU.

The main threat you face is uncertainty about the outcome. Nonetheless, you need to assess the impact of a worst-case-scenario Brexit now, in other words without any withdrawal agreement in place, and have in place contingency plans which are flexible enough to respond to developments in the negotiations.

Download our briefings if you are in:

Agriculture

Manufacturing

Automative and Aviation

Leisure and Hospitality

Our team can help you with all that you need in four steps:

  1. Information - You need to have procedures in place to ensure you are well-informed about the Brexit process. Relying on press reports won’t be enough. Understanding and forecasting the likely impacts are fundamental to your Brexit strategy to gaining early competitive advantage. FBC Manby Bowdler will give you with a tailored service which monitors progress, analyses published documents, and identifies the impacts for your business the moment they become clear.
  2. Preparation - Prepare for Brexit with and without a deal. To do so, businesses should carry out a Brexit legal impact assessment followed by a Brexit commercial impact assessment. These will form the baseline of any contingency measures. To be Brexitproof, FBC Manby Bowdler’s online survey can help you legally and commercially. Sign up here.
  3. Action - Based on this survey, you should decide what contingency plans you need and when they should be activated. You might be marginally or massively impacted. Contingency measures could include setting up alternative supply chains, identifying new customer markets, or re-skilling employees. FBC Manby Bowdler has been at the forefront of advising clients on the commercial implications of Brexit. We have the experience to help you devise and implement contingency measures for your business, and stress-test them against a range of Brexit scenarios, whatever industry you operate in.
  4. Influencing - The best way to avoid a Brexit that damages your business is to influence the outcome yourself. Brexit provides an opportunity to do that, which businesses should exploit more. FBC Manby Bowdler has the benefit of advisers in Brussels and London. We can devise and implement policy advocacy strategies to influence the course of further Brexit negotiations, the negotiations on a new trade agreement and build long-term regulatory compliance strategies, including relationship-building with key influencers and government authorities.

Our team of experienced sector specialists has examined the potential impact of the Brexit in your sector. Peter Wilding, our Brexit Director, is able to provide in-depth analysis on the political, policy and legal implications of Brexit, and translate what they mean for manufacturing, agricultural and hospitality clients. He has an expert understanding of how each piece of the jigsaw of EU policy and legislation fits together, an insider’s knowledge of the political and administrative processes of the negotiations, and considerable experience of how UK legislation is enacted. Few other lawyers have a background so suited to giving Brexit advice.

 

Agreement Signposts Post-Brexit Direction On Intellectual Property

FBC Manby Bowdlers IP specialist has welcomed an indication from Brexit negotiators about the future of intellectual property rights once the UK leaves the European Union.

David Preece, Corporate Partner at FBC Manby Bowdler, said the recently published draft withdrawal agreement provided an important insight into how EU and Community registered designs are likely to be treated over coming years.

Currently the EU Trade Marks (EUTM) and Registered Community Designs (RCD) are valid in both the UK and the rest of the EU, which had given rise to questions about their validity after March next year.

But the draft withdrawal agreement includes eight articles relating to intellectual property, and suggests EU-wide rights will be replaced with equivalent UK rights after the end of the transition period.

David Preece, Corporate Partner at FBC Manby Bowdler, said: “This detail was much-needed, and helps in understanding the best path to adopt for registrations as we head through Brexit. 

“As currently stated, it suggests that separate UK and EU trade mark and registered design applications will not need to be filed, which was the belt and braces approach taken by many, pending an announcement on how conversions would be treated post-Brexit.”

“We do not know whether this conversion will happen automatically, whether it will require action by the holder of the rights, or indeed whether a charge will be levied, but it does give some reassurance that holders of EU trade marks registered before the end of the transition period can expect an enforceable intellectual property right in the UK post-transition, and that the renewal date will be the same.  

“Similarly, anyone holding a Community registered design right will become the holder of a UK registered design right.”

It is also expected that a new UK unregistered design right will be created to provide the wider protection currently offered by the EU unregistered design right.  

The draft agreement also sets out that protection will continue post-transition for international registrations of trademarks or designs that designate the EU via the Madrid or Hague centralised application systems for registration in multiple jurisdictions.  

The UK was already an independent signatory to the Madrid Protocol, and will independently accede to the Hague Agreement in June 2018.  The UK will also continue to be a member of WIPO - the World Intellectual Property Organization – that administers these international processes.  

David added:  “Post-Brexit, alongside any UK registrations, businesses seeking protection in Europe will be able to register an EUTM or RCD to cover all remaining EU Member States.  

“However, filing through WIPO may become the simplest option, as it will cover the UK, the EU and countries such as the USA or Japan, with 68 countries signed up to the Hague Agreement and 116 to the Madrid Protocol.”   

For national protection, solely within the UK, trade marking, registered designs, patenting and copyright is administered by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and governed by the Intellectual Property Act 2014.  

As the Brexit negotiations continue, the IPO has said it is keen to hear views on the transitional arrangements from those involved in managing IP issues day-to-day, by emailing EUenquiries@ipo.gov.uk

For further advice on IP issues Post Brexit, contact David on 01952 208421 or d.preece@fbcmb.co.uk




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