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On 29 April 2021, legislation giving powers to the UK Government to scrutinise transactions on grounds of national security (the UK National Security and Investment Act, “NSIA”) was enacted into UK law. The NSIA includes various provisions relating to mandatory and voluntary notifications of transactions that may be relevant to UK national security, including transactions relating to intellectual property (IP) in sensitive areas of technology.
A formal commencement date for the notification regime put in place by the NSIA is yet to be announced but is likely to be in late 2021. Ahead of this, we here provide a brief summary of key aspects of the Act and potential implications for transactions relating to IP:
It remains to be seen how the broad provisions of the NSIA will be implemented practically in terms of their scope and in relation to formal aspects of notification processes. Further guidance should hopefully be provided by late 2021, with secondary legislation and statutory guidance to be published by the Government. In the meantime, businesses should be aware of the potential impact of the NSIA, for example when entering into applicable transactions in relation to IP in a sensitive area of technology. Assessment may be needed as to whether there may be a risk of a later call-in of the transaction, and whether steps should be taken to mitigate this.
For further information contact Jimmy Nicholls or your usual J A Kemp adviser.