Publications & Insights Countdown to Brexit - Data Protection and IP
Share This

Countdown to Brexit - Data Protection and IP

Thursday, 22 October 2020

With the Brexit deadline passed and the end of the transition period fast approaching, the ByrneWallace Brexit team address various issues which will impact upon businesses either trading with or through the UK, or with suppliers in the UK, and/or with UK staff based in Ireland or staff in the UK. 

In this issue, we address Data Protection and IP.

Critical issues for businesses to consider:

  • International Data Transfers: Once the UK leaves the EU and in the absence of a adequacy decision, it will no longer be possible to freely transfer personal data from EU member states to the UK, as it will be considered to be a ‘third country’ for data protection purposes. Businesses firstly need to establish what data sharing/processing activities involve transfers of personal data to the UK and, secondly, how these transfers can continue to be made legally post-Brexit.
  • Data Transfer Safeguards: Some of the data transfer mechanisms which may need to be utilised for transfers of personal data to the UK post-Brexit include the Standard Contractual Clauses (having regard to qualifications in the recent Schrems decision), Binding Corporate Rules, and specific derogations under GDPR such as explicit consent of data subjects etc. Businesses need to consider which of these safeguards they can potentially rely upon for the continued operation of their business operations, and how to implement this in practice.
  • Contractual Updates: The data protection elements of all commercial contracts will need to be considered and may need to be updated to reflect the fact that the UK will no longer be part of the EU, and to include necessary data transfer provisions.
  • Governing Law and Jurisdiction: Issues in respect of appropriate governing law and jurisdiction should be considered in respect of any contracts dealing with data protection and/or IP issues.
  • IP Registrations: Businesses should consider whether any of their current IP registrations (e.g. trademark/patent registrations) should be moved to Ireland or to an EU-wide registration to ensure continued protection once the UK leaves the EU.


For more information on the above or for general advice on this topic, please contact Sean O'Donnell or Zelda Deasy of our Data Protection/GDPR team or Gerry Beausang of our Brexit Team.

To register for ByrneWallace updates click here, and follow us on LinkedIn.