Property Agency,
Patents and
Community Trademark


The impact of Brexit in the field of Industrial Property

If a “hard Brexit” occurs, the United Kingdom will cease to be part of the system that regulates the European Union brand and community designs, although it will continue to be part of the Madrid Protocol, the Hague system for protection of international designs, the Munich Convention on the granting of a European patent and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

The case of the Supplementary Protection Certificates (CCP) provides for disagreements since although the intention of the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (hereinafter, IPO for its acronym in English) is to maintain the current systems and procedures, the applicable legislation emanates from the European Union.

The consequences that are currently expected to leave the United Kingdom without agreement for the different industrial property rights are briefly described below.

European Union Marks and Community Designs and Models

Both European Union brands and community designs that had been registered in the European Union before October 31, 2019 will continue to be valid in the United Kingdom. The holders of these rights may transform their registered trademarks and designs in the European Union into national trademarks and designs of the United Kingdom with a minimal administrative burden. In the event that the holder does not want this title to be transformed into a British brand or design, he may carry out this waiver via a procedure called “opt-out” before IPO.

As regards the applications for European Union trademarks and community designs submitted before October 31, 2019, the IPO undertakes to respect the filing date provided that it is requested within nine months of the Brexit date. , and the corresponding fees are paid.

The procedure for opposing trademarks of the European Union will not apply to these titles requested or registered before October 31, 2019.

In the case of community designs not registered but existing at the time of the breakup of the United Kingdom with the European Union, these designs will continue to be valid in the other member states of the European Union. The IPO plans to grant these designs protection in the United Kingdom without requiring any action by the right holder.

Due to the above and due to the uncertainty of how the United Kingdom will be leaving, the holders of these rights are recommended to assess the need to initiate a registration procedure in the United Kingdom.

International marks

The validity of the international brand will not be affected if there is a departure from the United Kingdom with or without agreement. However, on the one hand, in the case of international marks whose base mark is a trademark or trademark application of the European Union, there would be no effect on the validity of the international registration of the designated States. On the other hand, international brands that designate the European Union will have effect in the 27 countries that make up the European Union after Brexit, but to have effects in the United Kingdom they must comply with the procedures provided in this country for registered trademarks and the applications being processed, so they will be governed by British domestic legislation as national marks and not by the Madrid Protocol.

International designs

In this industrial property title there are three situations. The first concerns international industrial design registries protected in the European Union before Brexit. In this case, the IPO will automatically create a new record in the United Kingdom as a "re-registered international design" at no additional cost and in accordance with British law.

The second assumption is that of international registers of industrial designs whose validity expires in the six months prior to the date of departure. In this case the holder will receive a re-registered international drawing or model but with the expiration date. The holder will have a period of nine months to renew this title. Within this period, this renewal must be carried out and notified to the IPO, but the IPO will withdraw the re-registered international design from the United Kingdom Registry.

The third situation is that of international applications and registrations that designate the European Union and are pending before October 31. In these cases, the holder may submit his application for registration of his industrial design in the United Kingdom within nine months and benefit from the date of submission of his international application and, if applicable, the priority date and the date of the international registration, the application being governed by British law.


The rights of Spanish holders of European patents with effects in the United Kingdom and of PCT patents that have extended their effects in the United Kingdom do not