Overview

Intellectual Property
Last updated: 30 August 2017

Bird & Bird's EU Legislation Tracker highlights Regulations and Directives scheduled to take effect or to be implemented by Member States in the period to the UK's departure from the EU. It does not provide an exhaustive survey. Instead, we have sought to summarise some of the key legislation, both draft and finalised, which we are tracking in the run up to Brexit and which are likely to be of interest to companies which do business in the UK and/or elsewhere in Europe. 

The Tracker includes a short commentary on the substance of each of the measures identified, and a timeline for their known or likely effective dates (for Regulations) or implementation deadlines (for Directives). These are colour coded by reference to the likely date of Brexit.

For the purposes of the Tracker, we have assumed that the UK will exit the EU two years from its service of Article 50 notice (i.e. 29th March 2019). Ultimately the UK's Great Repeal Bill will determine whether the UK will retain, implement, amend or repeal the legislation summarised in our Tracker and the date when this will happen.

Key
Implementation status 
  Implementation deadline/effective date likely to be pre-Brexit
  Implementation deadline/effective date likely to be post-Brexit
 
 Timeline  EU legislation
 

Takes effect: 

[Likely Q2 - Q4 2017?]

 

The Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court - Regulation 1260/2012 & 1257/2012

The European patent with unitary effect ("Unitary Patent") was created on 17 December 2012 when the Council of the European Union approved two Regulations (The Unitary Patent - Regulation 1260/2012 & 1257/2012). The aim is to create a single system whereby establishing patent protection across Europe is easier and more effective. Once granted, a unitary patent will provide uniform protection in all participating countries.

Read more >

 

Implementation deadline:

9 June 2018

  Trade Secrets Directive - 2016/943/EC

  • Directive which seeks to harmonise the meaning and protection of trade secrets.
  • It will do this by:
    • creating a common definition of 'trade secret';
    • setting out remedies for holders of trade secrets in the event that they are misused; and
    • granting powers to enable the courts to prevent the disclosure of trade secrets during proceedings.

Read more >

 

Takes effect:

2019

  Clinical Trials Regulation 536/2014

  • The Regulation was adopted on 16 June 2014.
  • It aims is to ensure a greater level of harmonisation of the rules of conducting clinical trials throughout the EU. Features include a single portal for applications for clinical trials, transparency requirements and more detailed safety provisions.

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Implementation deadline:

14 January 2019 (for remaining provisions not already in force)

 

Directive 2015/2436/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2015 to approximate the laws of the member states relating to trade marks

  • To make trade mark registration in the EU cheaper, quicker, more reliable and more predictable.
  • The provisions includes the removal of graphic representation requirements when filing trade mark applications, and the endorsement of the "literal meaning" approach to class heading coverage.

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Implementation deadline:

[Likely 2020?]

 

Draft: A proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on copyright in the Digital Single Market

  • Part of the Digital Single Market package of legislation.
  • The draft Directive seeks to harmonise copyright law across the EU. Its provisions focus on the granting of greater protection against online exploitation of rights holder's publications. The most controversial aspect of the proposed Directive is the mandatory exceptions under the Directive, particularly with regards to the text and data mining, many educational institutes are asking for the proposed Directive to be amended.

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Takes effect:

Spring 2020

 

Regulation on medical devices, which will replace Council Directive 90/385/EEC of 20 June 1990 on the approximation of the laws of the member states relating to active implantable medical devices and Council Directive 93/42/EEC of 14 June 1993 concerning medical devices.

  • A draft Regulation which aims to ensure a high level of health and safety provisions in respect of medical devices and the free and fair trade of products throughout the EU.
  • EC draft originally proposed on 26 September 2012.

 Read more >

Takes effect:

Spring 2022

 

A Regulation on in vitro diagnostic medical devices, which will replace Directive 98/79/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 October 1998 on in vitro diagnostic medical devices.

  • A draft Regulation which aims to strengthen patient safety, by ensuring the quality of medical device products and laying down a more transparent regulatory system. It also introduces a new risk-rule classification system that is based on the Global Harmonization Task Force classification rules.
  • The European Commission proposed a new legal framework on 26 September 2012.

Read more >


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