The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31st January 2020 and the Transition Period ended on 31st December 2020. Both the Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) or Free Trade Agreement contain detailed provisions relating to Intellectual Property Rights and Intellectual Property Law. These provisions will continue to evolve and be subject to ongoing negotiations. You should therefore always contact us for advice relating to your specific circumstances.
Here are some points to note

The European Patent Office is not a European Union body and so European Patent Applications are unaffected by Brexit.

Trade Marks
All EU Trade Mark Registrations have been cloned to create a new UK Trade Mark Registration. The new UK Trade Mark Registrations will have the same details as the former EU right. This happened automatically and without cost.
If you have a pending EU Trade Mark Application at 31st December, you will need to apply to convert the application to a UK national application within the next 9 months. This is effectively a new, back dated UK Trade Mark Application and so fees are due. If you do not apply to convert the application, your rights in the UK will be lost.

Registered Designs
Similarly, all Registered and Published Designs have been cloned automatically.
If your EU design application was registered but subject to deferred publication, then it is treated as a pending design application and an application to convert the design will be required if you want to maintain protection in the UK.
Unregistered Designs
The UK is creating a Supplementary Unregistered Design right to replicate the EU unregistered design right in addition to the more complex existing UK unregistered design right.
You should note that the unregistered right will only come into existence where the design is first published, so you cannot have both an EU unregistered design right and a UK Supplementary Unregistered Design right on the same design..
Exhaustion of Rights
The UK has adopted a pan EEA Exhaustion of Rights (i.e. no change) regime, whereas the EU will not treat the UK as being part of the Internal Market for exhaustion purposes.
Address for Service
As there was no agreement on mutual recognition of professional qualifications, a UK address for service will now be required for any new UK Intellectual Property matters.

Ongoing Matters
The provisions relating to ongoing matters such as oppositions or cancellation actions are complex and very fact dependent. Please contact us if you have questions relating to ongoing matters or any other aspect of your portfolio.



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