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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Intellectual property after 1 January 2021: update

Date: Thursday 19 November 2020

On 1 January 2021 there will be changes to UK intellectual property law to ensure the smooth departure from EU IP systems and at the end of October the IPO issued key information for customers and users of IP about how the IP system and the Intellectual Property Office would operate at the end of the transition period. Since that date the IPO has issued a further update on UK Address for Service (AfS).

Use of representatives and address requirements to represent
From 1 January 2021, UK attorneys will be unable to represent clients on new applications or new proceedings at the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). UK trade mark owners will need to appoint an EEA attorney to represent them on new applications and proceedings before the EUIPO.

However, the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) ensures that UK legal representatives can continue to represent their clients before the EUIPO in cases that are ongoing at the end of the transition period.

UK Address for Service (AfS)
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published the government response to the outcome of the Address for Service call for views published earlier this year. Views were invited on removing reference to the European Economic Area.

The outcome is that, broadly speaking, from 1 January 2021, subject to legislative implementation, only a UK address for service will be accepted for new applications and new requests to start contentious proceedings before the IPO.

The change will apply across all the registered IP rights (patents, trade marks and designs).

To read the original announcement detailing the changes after 1 January 2021, please click on the link below.