Bird & Bird's EU Legislation Tracker highlights Regulations and Directives scheduled to take effect or to be implemented by Member States in the period prior 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 the Article 50 notice (i.e. on 29th March 2019). However, a transitional period is expected to follow, until the end of 2020, during which the UK will be required to continue to align its laws with those of the EU Single Market and Customs Union. It is currently expected that the EU Withdrawal Bill will be enacted with effect from the exit date and that the resulting Act will retain all EU Regulations (and statutory instruments implementing EU Directives) in UK domestic law. However, the Act is also expected to enable amendments to such Regulations by statutory instruments during a two-years period, and this process will determine the final form, in UK domestic law, of such legislation now summarised in our Tracker.
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.
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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
Draft: A proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on copyright in the Digital Single Market
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.
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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.
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