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National IP Protection in the United Kingdom

Our overseas clients apply for national patents, trade marks and designs in the United Kingdom for a variety of different reasons. For some, the UK is seen as a key strategic market that warrants additional consideration to mainland Europe. For others, it is a pragmatic and cost-effective alternative to Europe-wide protection.

Whilst patent, trade mark and registered design law in the UK is harmonised with European law, there are many areas in which both procedure and practice differ. We are experts at tailoring our approach in the UK to match the international IP objectives of our clients.

To learn more about how our patent and trade mark attorneys can help you and your clients obtain the best IP protection in the United Kingdom and Europe please call us on +44 (0)115 947 7977 or email

UK Trade Mark and Design Applications

The UK is no longer part of the European Union and so any  new EU trade mark and design applications filed after 1 January 2021 will not provide protection in the UK.  As such, it is necessary to consider national protection of  trade marks and designs in the UK separately from any EU-wide protection. For many applicants,it will become normal to file corresponding UK national trade mark and design applications alongside EU applications.  

Where UK national trade mark or design protection is to be obtained, we can act based on exactly the same instructions as would be used in Europe. The UK Intellectual Property Office does not perform substantive examination of trade mark and design applications with respect to existing third-party rights. This means that the application process is often predictable.  

However, there are some differences between UK and EU practice and we are happy to advise on an optimal UK strategy where relevant. We are also well-versed in handling UK trade mark oppositions and arranging settlements during the opposition procedure, particularly where overlap between trade mark rights is incidental rather than competitive. 

Procedural efficiency and fairness are two key qualities of the UK national patent application procedure. We have an excellent success rate representing our overseas clients in patent prosecution before the UK Intellectual Property Office. Our detailed technical knowledge of UK patent procedure and case law means that we are often able to secure more optimal patent claim scope in the UK than the corresponding claims in other countries.

The patent application process carried out by the UK IPO is also heavily subsidised by the UK Government and so the official fees have consistently remained low. This, coupled with the cooperative approach generally taken by examiners at the UK IPO, means that high quality national patent protection in the UK can often be secured in an efficient manner.

Our summary guide to the UK patent application procedure can be found here.

Our guide to country selection for patent protection in Europe can be found here.

We are happy to bill in US Dollars where it is convenient for our clients. We will also be pleased to provide fixed quotes for the filing of applications and for other actions wherever possible.

Need some advice?

Call us on +44 (0) 115 947 7977 to speak to
one of our IP experts based in Nottingham, Leicester and London.

Providing professional services of the highest quality