IP protection after Brexit

31 January 2020

Trademarks and industrial designs

The United Kingdom will remain part of the EU trademark and design system until December 31, 2020. According to EUIPO communication: The Brexit Agreement states that during the transition period, which will last until December 31, 2020, EU law continues to apply in the United Kingdom and its territory. This applies to the European Union Trademark (EUTM) and Community Design Regulations (RCD).

At the end of the transition period (January 1, 2021), the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) will replace almost 1.4 million existing EU trademarks and 700,000 Community designs with comparable British laws. Holders of valid, previously registered rights do not need to do anything.

Applications for trademarks and industrial designs at EUIPO after Brexit will not cover UK territory. A separate application with the UKIPO will be required, which is likely to generate higher IP costs for entrepreneurs.

During the transitional period, the application of EUTM and RCD Regulations covers in particular all the substantive and procedural provisions, as well as rules on representation in proceedings before EUIPO. All proceedings before the Office which concern grounds for refusal relating to the territory of the United Kingdom, previous rights originating in the United Kingdom or entities established in the United Kingdom will continue as before, until the end of the transitional period.

Owners of exclusive rights who do not want to maintain the protection of their trademarks or industrial designs after the end of the transition period will be able to opt-out.


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