What does IP completion day mean for distribution?
What does IP completion day mean for distribution?

The following Commercial practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What does IP completion day mean for distribution?
  • How does Brexit impact distribution?
  • Distribution—competition law
  • Distribution—intellectual property rights
  • Distribution—product safety and conformity
  • Distribution—cross border supply
  • Distribution—data protection
  • Distribution—advertising and marketing
  • What are the key legal authorities impacted by Brexit?
  • What is the status of EU case law in this area?
  • More...

The implementation period put in place to enable the UK to transition away from the EU’s laws and institutions ended at 11 pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020. At this point in time (referred to in this Practice Note as ‘IP completion day’) there was an immediate and significant change in the UK’s legal regime. This Practice Note explains the implications of this change in relation to distribution.

How does Brexit impact distribution?

The appointment of a distributor in the UK is primarily subject to the common law of contract which will largely be unchanged following IP completion day.

Where trading across borders with distributors based in other countries, including EU Member States, distributors may be protected by local laws that offer a distributor greater protection than under UK law. For further information see:  Getting the Deal Through: Distribution & Agency 2020.

In addition, distributors operating in the UK and EU Member States need to consider how they may be affected following IP completion day by changes in legislation relating to competition law, intellectual property rights, sale of goods, data protection, advertising, marketing and cross-border supply as well as changes arising from the UK being a third country and no longer being a Member State.

Distribution—competition law

From 1 January 2021, Chapter I and Chapter II of the Competition Act 1998 (CA 1998) apply to the conduct of distributors and

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