The impact of BREXIT on IP in the United Kingdom

Updated: Jan 6




The United Kingdom (UK)’s transition period to exit the European Union (EU) ended on the 31st of December 2020. A date that will be remembered by many and will mark an end to an era and an idea of a fully united and merged Europe. This year-long transition has put an end to many cooperative and regulatory agreements between both parties. As a result, there are some changes to Intellectual Property (IP) services in the UK and the EU.


key points to note.

  • The UK will automatically create a UK right for every registered EU trade mark or design and these rights will have similar legal status under UK law.

  • Unregistered Community designs will no longer be valid in the UK. However, a supplementary unregistered design (SUD) will become available under UK law.

  • An applicant will need a UK, Gibraltar, or the Channels Islands address to file a patent, trade mark, or design applications with the UK Intellectual Property office (UKIPO).

  • Applicants seeking an EU trade mark (EUTM) or a registered Community design (RCD) before the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) will have to appoint EU/EEA representatives to represent them. The EUIPO UK representatives will automatically be removed from all files in EUTM and RCD related proceedings and EUIPOs database of representatives. Therefore, UK representatives can no longer represent clients on new applications or new proceedings at the EUIPO.

  • Copyright works are still protected in the UK and EU.

  • The UK or European patents are not affected by these transitions; the European Patent Office (EPO) is independent of the EU. Therefore, European patent attorneys based in the UK can continue to represent clients before the EPO.




The above changes are expected to meaningfully impact many SMEs in the creative industries and across diverse sectors within the UK and EU.

Intellectual property (IP) is often the most valuable asset within a business and refers to creations of the mind, including inventions; designs; and symbols, names and images used in branding a business.

Intellectual property rights (IPR) are legal rights aimed at protecting the creations of the intellect, such as inventions, the appearance of products, literary, artistic and scientific works and signs, among others.

If you are a freelancer or a business in need of sound advice and affordable and efficient services for your intellectual property needs, check out our platform and concierge services.

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