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30 September 2021 deadline for extension of EU trade mark and design protection to the UK

When the transition period of the EU withdrawal agreement expired on 31 December 2020, all EU trade mark and design registrations ceased to cover the UK and new separate UK trade mark and design registrations providing equivalent coverage were automatically created.

However, no such corresponding UK protection was automatically created for EU trade mark or design applications that were pending at the end of the transition period.  Instead, applicants were given nine months from the end of the transition period (i.e. until 30 September 2021) to file corresponding UK applications in order to retain the effective filing and priority dates of their EU applications in the UK.

Importantly, corresponding UK applications can be filed based on any EU application that was pending when the transition period expired regardless of when that EU application was filed or whether that EU application subsequently proceeded to registration.

Accordingly, if you had an EU trade mark or design application that was pending on 31 December 2020 and wish to protect that trade mark or design in the UK, you must apply for corresponding protection in the UK by no later than 30 September 2021 in order to retain the effective filing and priority dates of the EU application in the UK. 

We also urge anyone considering applying for corresponding protection in the UK to do so as soon as possible as a large number of applications are likely to be filed in the lead-up to the deadline, which the UKIPO has warned may be problematic for their IT systems and is likely to create a significant examination backlog.

Our trade marks team can discuss requirements and guide you on steps to take in advance of the 30 September deadline so please email or call us now on +44 (0) 115 947 7977 with any queries on this.

Author: David Gwilliam

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Key differences between UK and EU trade marks

The UK and EU trade mark systems are very similar as the systems were mostly harmonised while the UK was a member of the EU, and this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future, although there are a number of key differences that applicants should be aware of to successfully navigate and make the most of the UK trade mark system.

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