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Brexit – the impact on your Intellectual Property Rights

European Union Trade Marks (EUTMs) and Community Design Rights (CDRs) currently provide intellectual property protection across the European Union, including the UK. How will this be affected by the UK's vote to leave the EU?

The first thing to emphasise is that EUTMs and CDRs remain valid and there will be no immediate loss of protection.

When the UK does formally leave the EU, it is anticipated that EUTMs and CDRs may cease to provide protection in respect of the UK.

However, should this be the case, it is also anticipated that transitional arrangements will be enacted to ensure that existing EUTMs and CDRs can continue to be protected in the UK and that priority dates can be preserved.

This may involve some form of automatic or optional process for converting EUTMs and CDRs into national UK trade marks or design rights, although no concrete proposals have been announced at the present time.

Needless to say, Ward Hadaway’s trade mark team will be monitoring this issue very closely and will keep you fully informed of developments.

To clarify, there will be no impact on patent applications and patents filed or obtained under the European Patent Convention (EPC) or Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) since these systems and rights are independent of the EU.

We hope the above helps but should you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us at

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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