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Brexit: The end of the transition period

4 January 2021

The Brexit transition period came to an end on 31 December 2020 and changes to IP rights started to take effect on 1 January 2021. As a European firm, we can continue to cater for your needs in both the EU and the UK. There’s no need to change how you interact with us to manage your IP rights. However, there are important changes to take into account and we have summarised some key action points below:

  1. The UK IPO will automatically create a comparable UK trade mark or design right for every registered EU trade mark or design on 01/01/21 at no cost.
  2. EU trade mark and design applications pending as of 01/01/21 will not cover the UK and will need to be re-filed at the UK IPO within 9 months.
  3. European patents filed through the European Patent Office are unaffected by Brexit.
  4. International trade marks (Madrid System) and International designs (Hague Agreement) registered in the EU prior to 01/01/21 will be automatically re-registered as a comparable UK trade mark or design right.
  5. Comparable UK trade mark and design rights created on 01/01/21 will receive a new UK number – for details click here and here.
  6. Opt outs to cancel any automatically created comparable UK trade marks and designs can be filed but only after 01/01/21.
  7. Comparable UK trade mark and design rights created on 01/01/21 will need to be renewed separately from the original EU right.
  8. The UK IPO will require a UK address for service for new patent, trade mark and design applications, new oppositions & other new procedures from 01/01/21 – for details click here.
  9. UK resident registrants will cease to be eligible to own a .eu domain name from 01/01/21.
  10. EU customs notices (AFA) will not apply to the UK and a new UK AFA will need to be filed for IP rights protection in the UK from 01/01/21.
  11. A new UK Geographical Indication (GI) scheme will come into force on 01/01/21 for details click here.
  12. Unregistered EU design rights existing prior to 01/01/21 will continue to be protected in the UK for the remainder of their 3 year term.
  13. A new UK supplementary unregistered design right mirroring the EU unregistered design right will become available for designs first disclosed in the UK from 01/01/21 – for details click here.
  14. EU trade mark and design applications filed at the EU IPO after 01/01/21 will not cover the UK and a separate national UK application will need to be filed at the UK IPO.

If you have any queries or need advice about how Brexit may affect your IP rights, please get in touch with your usual Withers & Rogers attorney or visit our Contact Us page.