As of 1 January 2021, the transition period ended and the UK is no longer part of the European Union.We will briefly list what happens with existing or new trademark registrations and design registrations.

What happened?

Since February 1, 2020, the UK has withdrawn from the European Union and has since become a “third country”. A transition period applied until the end of 2020, during which EU law in its entirety still applied in the UK. From 2021 onwards, Brexit will have consequences for trademark and design holders of European registrations.

What happened since this January?

What happens with existing registrations or applications from this January depends on the status of the trademark or design registration:

I have an existing EU trademark or design registration.

Good news; it is automatically converted into a national right in the UK. For the other countries within the EU nothing will change and the current registration will remain valid. Please note that in most cases a UK address is required for registration.

My trademark or design registration expires in 2021.

This registration can simply be extended. In principle, this can be done indefinitely for brands, for industrial designs up to a maximum protection period of 25 years. The renewal will only be valid in the EU, unless you choose to renew the registration in the UK as well. This will then become a national registration valid in the UK.

I have applied for a trademark or design, but it has not yet been granted.

 If a trademark or design registration is still in the registration process, it will, once granted, be valid within the European Union, but not in the UK. However, it is possible to obtain a comparable right in the UK. The individual new application must then be submitted in the UK by September 30, 2021.

In the coming months, as a trademark or design holder, or applicant, you will therefore have to make a choice whether you want to apply for or continue protection in the UK.

It is important to make the right choice in time, so that you can ensure that the registration is maintained.

If you have any questions about registrations or applications after Brexit, please contact Helen Maatjes (