13 July 2016
The Brexit issue
Following the results of the EU Referendum, the impact of Brexit, the form it will take and when exactly it will happen, are hotly debated. We are now in unchartered waters but that does not mean we cannot anticipate and prepare for any challenges or opportunities which may present themselves. Radar brings you our views on tech, communications, data protection and consumer law. You can see Taylor Wessing’s other articles on the impact of Brexit on topics including financial services/regulatory and employment law here.
Brexit – the potential impact on the UK’s legal system
Debbie Heywood looks at the role of European law in the UK and at how that might change now that the UK has voted to leave the European Union.
Brexit – data protection law is here to stay, isn’t it?
With new EU data protection law just approved, Vin Bange considers whether much will change in the world of data protection following Brexit.
The UK Consumer law landscape in the wake of the EU Referendum.
Debbie Heywood, Sian Skelton and Katie Chandler consider the likely impact of Brexit on the UK consumer protection regime.
The impact of the Brexit vote on the telecoms sector
Angus Finnegan and Korolyn Rouhani-Arani look at the key issues following the EU Referendum.
Less harmony, more divergence? Intellectual property rights and enforcement in a post-Brexit UK
Jo Joyce considers the effect Brexit may have on the UK’s IP landscape and on its position as a patent litigation centre.
The potential impact of Brexit on UK competition law
Richard Craig looks at possible consequences for competition law in the context of various exit scenarios.
In other news this month:
EU-US Privacy Shield adopted
The European Commission has announced the adoption of the EU-US Privacy Shield to replace Safe Harbor in providing a lawful means of transferring EEA personal data to the USA. Applications for certification under the scheme will be considered from 1 August 2016.
For more on this see here.
Electronic identification regulations published
The Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/696), which implement the Electronic Identification Regulation (eIDAS, which has applied since 1 July 2016), will come into force on 22 July 2016. The regulations repeal the E-Signature Regulations 2002. The ICO is appointed as the UK’s supervisory body for the purposes of the regulations and will be required to oversee trust service providers’ compliance and impose sanctions including fines of £1000 for non-compliance.
The eIDAS Regulation:
- lays down conditions for mutual recognition of electronic identification;
- sets out rules for trust services, in particular for electronic transactions; and
- creates a legal framework for electronic signatures, seals and time stamps, electronic documents, electronic registered delivery services and certificate services for website authentication.
Member States may choose to join the mutual recognition schemes of e-identification as soon as the necessary implementing acts are in place. The mandatory mutual recognition is expected to apply in the latter half of 2018. For more detail, see here.
High Court says sale of software is sale of goods for purposes of the Commercial Agency Regulations
The High Court has held that a sale of software counted as a sale of goods (despite being supplied in an intangible format) for the purposes of the Commercial Agency Regulations. Waksman J considered not only the reality of software supply but also the way it has been treated in legislation and applicable case law. He concluded that, for the purposes of the Commercial Agency Regulations, where software is essentially a non-bespoke product sold for a commercial purpose, whether it is physically or digitally supplied is irrelevant and it should be treated as a sale of goods.
Digital Economy Bill published
The government has published the Digital Economy Bill 2016-17( Bill). The Bill is wide ranging in the areas it tackles, with an overarching aim of improving internet connectivity and providing protections for internet users. The Bill covers a number of areas across the communications sector, including spectrum management, provision of broadband, infrastructure role out, copyright, registered designs, digital government, regulator powers and direct marketing. It remains to be seen how the Bill progresses and whether it remains a priority as the government begins to get to grips with Brexit but this is one to watch.