Following a consultation in the UK with intellectual property professionals, the UK Government has announced that the existing reference to the European Economic Area (EEA) will be removed from the current address for service rules for UK trade marks, designs and patents: Government’s Report. Over 92% of the respondents were in favour of these amendments to the rules.
From next year, for new applications, new oppositions and other proceedings covered by existing address for service rules, EEA addresses for service will no longer be accepted by the UK IPO and only a UK or Channel Islands address will be allowed. This does not mean that applications from outside of the UK will not be accepted; however, applicants will be required to have a UK address to which the UK Intellectual Property Office can send correspondence.
These new address for service rules are expected to come into force from 1 January 2021, subject to the appropriate legislation being passed in time.
A UK address for service will not be required for the renewal of existing registered rights. There will also be transitional provisions for ongoing cases.
It has been confirmed that the UK part of EU registrations which will be automatically ‘cloned’ into the UK registers as a result of Brexit will not have to obtain a new UK address for service in the three years following the end of the Brexit transition period.
If you have a query about the new rules and how they may affect your rights please do not hesitate to get in touch with your usual AAT contact or one of our IP professionals.