UK TRANSITION: Intellectual property after 1 January 2021

November 23, 2020

Intellectual property after 1 January 2021

The transition period ends on 31 December 2020. On 1 January 2021 there will be changes to UK intellectual property law to ensure the smooth departure from EU IP systems and changes to how the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will operate.

From 1 January 2021, UK attorneys will be unable to represent clients on new applications or new proceedings at the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). UK trade mark owners will need to appoint an EEA attorney to represent them on new applications and proceedings before the EUIPO. However, the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) ensures that UK legal representatives can continue to represent their clients before the EUIPO in cases that are ongoing at the end of the transition period.

The changes will affect:

  • Trade Marks
  • Designs
  • Patents
  • Copyright
  • Unregistered Designs
  • Parallel trade from the UK to the EEA
  • Unregistered Designs
  • UK Address for Service (AfS)
  • Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs)
  • Actions for IP rights holders

The Business Secretary urges you to:
– Consider carefully where to disclose your designs to ensure they have adequate protection in their most important market;
– If you export IP-protected goods on the secondary or parallel market, contact the rights holder in the EEA to see if you have permission to continue to parallel export.
– Consider if you want exports to continue if you are a business that owns the IP rights for goods currently parallel exported from the UK to the EEA.



IPO trade mark pre-apply service:
The IPO have launched a trade mark pre-apply service back in October. It is a new online tool to help individuals and businesses improve their chances of successfully registering a trade mark. It is aimed at people who have not applied for a trade mark before, and have little or no knowledge of the application process.

Customers can use the tool before they apply for a trade mark to:
– Check if anyone already has a trade mark too similar to the one they want
– Identify whether aspects of their proposed trade mark are not appropriate, such as offensive words or protected symbols (for example, geographical indications)
– Identify the right groups of goods and services for their proposed trade mark
– See an estimate of their application costs

CLICK HERE for more information 


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