Is your business prepared for Brexit?

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and entered an 11 month transition period. The UK and EU agreed a deal that governs their relationship from 1 January 2021 onwards. 

We know that the uncertainty around Brexit has made it difficult to know how to prepare, but our expert team will help you to put practical steps in place to make sure your business is ready for the UK’s new relationship with the EU. Our team of Brexit advisors offer in-depth analysis on the political, policy and legal implications of Brexit and how it will affect your business.

We specialise in a wide range of sectors and can help to answer big questions about Brexit and the preparations businesses should make, including:

  • How will the entry into the UK-EU trade agreement affect you?
  • How will the entry into any further UK-EU trade agreements affect you?
  • How will any long-term new trade agreements affect you?

Our team of advisors can provide bespoke assessments of your business, including:

  • Assessing how your business could be affected by Brexit
  • Providing personalised practical plans to ensure your business is ready

A major challenge you face is complying with the terms of the UK and EU deal. Importing and exporting to the EU, travel, hiring and data have all changed. The deal is also not fully comprehensive and further issues, notably relating to the provision of services, are still to be fleshed out.

Our team can help you with all that you need in two 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.

2. Action - 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, whatever industry you operate in.

Our team of experienced sector specialists has examined the potential impact of Brexit in your sector and can provide an in-depth analysis on the political, policy and legal implications of Brexit, and translate what they mean for manufacturing, agricultural and hospitality clients. We have 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.

Agreement Signposts Post-Brexit Direction On Intellectual Property

24/04/2018

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 david.preece@fbcmb.co.uk

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