Last chance to re-register pre-Brexit EU Designs in the UK!

September 01, 2021

If your EU registered design application was pending on Brexit day (1 January 2021), it will not have been automatically cloned to the UK. 30 September 2021 is the final deadline to manually re-register the design in the UK.

The UK ceased to be an EU member state at the end of 31 December 2020.

This means that various EU intellectual property rights will no longer cover the UK, unless they were already in-force before 1 January 2021. This article discusses an upcoming deadline for UK design re-registration.

EU Registered Designs

When the transition period expired on 1 January 2021, granted EU registered designs were automatically cloned to the UK, but only if they had been granted before that day.

On 1 January 2021, there were a small number of EU registered designs that were still pending in the EU system, and not yet registered.

These pending applications were not automatically re-registered in the UK. Instead, the proprietor is expected to manually apply to register a UK design by the end of a grace period of 30 September 2021, to retain the earlier filing date of the pending EU registered design.

The UK application must relate to the same design as that filed in the pending EU registered design application.

The UK application will be examined under UK law. The UK examines for clarity and compliance with formal requirements only, not for validity.

Please note that an unpublished EU registered design is treated as pending if it was not published before 1 January 2021. This particularly affects designs that were subject to deferred publication.

The deadline is close. Therefore, if you have a case that is not on our records and you have not already spoken to us about it, please speak to us as soon as possible.

International Designs

The above deadline also applies to international (Hague) designs that designated the EU but were not yet granted in the EU on 1 January 2021.

Please note that a certificate of registration from WIPO does not count as an EU grant. The EU grant refers to the EUIPO issuing a statement of grant of protection, which typically comes a few days or weeks (sometimes months) later than the WIPO certificate of registration. The date of EU grant can be checked via the Hague Express database.

If the international design application had not been granted in the EU by 1 January 2021, then the design will have to be manually re-registered in the UK by the above deadline.