The Impact of Brexit on IP

On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) departed from the European Union (EU) and entered a transition period that ended on 31 December 2020.

The following is a short summary depicting the main implications of Brexit on intellectual property effective 1 January 2021.

EU Trademarks (EUTMs) and Community Designs

As of 1 January 2021, all registered EU Trademarks and Community Designs were converted automatically to comparable UK rights, at no charge. Applicants that had applications pending at the end of the transition period will have nine months to apply in the UK for the same protection. The applications will then be treated as a UK national application and examined under UK law. As to renewals, all EU Trademarks and Community Designs with a renewal date expiring after 1 January 2021 will need to be simultaneously renewed in the UK in order to maintain rights in this country.


Since the European Patent Organization (EPO), is not an EU institution, and the UK will continue to be a member state to the EP0, patent applications filed with the EPO will not be affected by Brexit. Applicants will continue to be able to file their applications with the EPO and, on grant, request validation in the UK and other countries of interest.

For any queries about the matters raised in this article, or any other questions about how Brexit may affect your business, please contact our office at