Update to address for services rules at the UKIPO

November 2020

Under current UK law, owners of applications or registrations for UK patents, trade marks or designs have been required to provide an address anywhere in the European Economic Area to which correspondence relating to their rights could be directed.

Since this law was introduced, the UK has left the EU (“Brexit”).  Further, the Brexit transition period during which EU law continues to apply in the UK, will come to an end on 31 December 2020.  In consequence, following a consultation, this month the UK Government announced that it will amend the law such that proprietors of applications or registrations for UK patents, trade marks and designs filed from 1 January 2021 (or those involved in contentious proceedings relating to UK patents, trade marks and designs commenced from that date, with certain exceptions), must have an address in the UK (or Gibraltar, or the Channel Islands) to which correspondence relating to their rights can be directed.

Of course, Beck Greener will continue to act as a UK address for service for all our client’s UK patents, trade marks, and designs, and contentious proceedings relating to them.  However, it is clear that owners of applications or registrations for UK patents, trade marks and designs filed from the beginning of 2021 (or those involved in contentious proceedings relating to UK patents, trade marks and designs which commence from that date, with certain exceptions) who would previously have relied on an EEA address for service outside the UK, Gibraltar or Channel Islands will be unable to do so in future.  If you would like us to advise as regards Beck Greener taking over representation of existing or future UK rights or proceedings, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Note, this does not affect the position as regards European Patents, EU Trade Marks or Registered Community Designs (EU Design Registrations), which Beck Greener will continue to represent at the EPO and EUIPO as discussed in our earlier news updates.