Re-registered International Designs can now be searched on the UK Register

May 06, 2021

On 1 January 2021, the UK automatically created ‘re-registered’ designs cloned from EU-designating designs, to ensure intellectual property rights were not lost due to Brexit. For a short period, some of these new designs were not searchable, but this is no longer the case.

Our earlier article explained how holders of design rights have been affected by Brexit. As discussed, designs registered before 1 January 2021 covering the EU were automatically cloned in the UK. The UK clones are called ‘re-registered designs’.

Users of search engines such as the UK’s ‘Find a Registered Design’ service may have noticed that not all of the re-registered designs appeared immediately. Although disconcerting, there was no gap in protection.

Re-registered designs based on EU Registered Community Designs (RCDs) appeared immediately, but re-registered international designs took longer to appear. A re-registered international design is based on an EU designation of an International Registered Design filed under the Hague Agreement.

As from 26 February 2021, we are pleased to report that re-registered international designs are available to view. The numbering scheme is set out in this guidance (see here for RCDs).

When using the above numbering scheme for finding re-registered international designs, we had success by omitting the last zero (try three zeros at the end rather than four zeros). This discrepancy may be rectified shortly.

I cannot find my re-registered international design

We can help and advise. Is it possible that the design was pending, rather than registered, by 1 January 2021?

The requirements for international designs were more subtle than for RCDs: in order for an international design designating the EU to be re-registered in the UK, the EUIPO needed to have issued a document entitled ‘Statement of Grant of Protection’ before 1 January 2021.

If you had not yet received the EU statement of grant, your EU designation was classed as ‘pending’ and therefore was not re-registered. This is the case even if you had received an international registration certificate.

If your design was pending and not re-registered automatically, you will have to re-apply in the UK by 30 September 2021 to retain the earliest filing date of your international design. We are helping our clients with this, and would be glad to help if you are not yet a client.

Address for service requirements for re-registered international designs

A benefit of the international registration system is not having to appoint a local address for service as a representative. However, re-registered international designs are an exception.

It will not be possible to renew the re-registered international design centrally, along with the other territories designated in your international design. This is because the re-registered design is classed as a national UK registered design, rather than as a new UK designation of the international registration.

If you would like to appoint a UK representative to renew your re-registered international design, we would be glad to help.