Intellectual property in a post-Brexit landscape

"While Brexit will inevitably bring changes to the UK's relationship with other European countries, your relationship with Potter Clarkson will not change in any way. It will not disrupt the services we provide to you – it is business as usual." 

Steve Smith, Managing Partner

Potter Clarkson Group

With the withdrawal agreement ratified in late 2019, the UK formally left the European Union on 31 January 2020, entering an additional 11 month transition period. With the transition period now over, it is important to consider how you will secure and maintain protection - both in the EU and the UK.

Navigating the changes to the European IP landscape does not have to be complicated. We have developed this hub to provide you with an overview of the UK’s position regarding intellectual property in a post-Brexit landscape, along with our recommendations to ensure your rights remain protected.

As a pan-European intellectual property law firm, with offices and attorneys in the UK and in several EU-member states, our ability to support clients in all aspects of IP is completely unaffected by any Brexit-related changes. The key benefits of working with us are:

 Our People

The firm has a significant presence in mainland Europe, with manned offices in Stockholm, Lund, Copenhagen and Aarhus. Teams led by European Trade Mark and Design Attorneys Jesper Sellin, based in our Stockholm office, and Lars Karnøe, based in our Aarhus office, are highly experienced in representing clients before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and EU court systems. Together with the fact that our ability to represent parties at the European Patent Office is completely unaffected by Brexit, this enables us to handle all your IP needs.

 Our Accolades

We are recognised as a Gold Standard IP firm by the Financial Times and won the coveted UK Trade Mark Prosecution Firm of the Year award for 2020 and 2021 from Managing Intellectual Property. These accolades serve as important and reassuring evidence for our clients that they are working with an industry-leading team. 

 Our Value

Working with one firm - experienced in both UK and EU jurisdictions - ensures a strategic and cost-effective approach to protecting your IP rights in all your key markets.


The UK left the European Union on 31st January 2020 and entered a transition period which ended on 31st December 2020. With many clients facing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, we have set out below an overview of the changes.


EU trade mark and design registrations ceased to have effect in the UK from 1 January 2021.

  • The UKIPO has created equivalent UK ‘cloned’ rights of existing EU trade mark and design registrations.
  • All pending and future EU rights no longer extend to the UK. A separate right is required to secure protection in the UK. There is a 9-month window which expires on 30 September 2021 in which to file new UK applications before the UKIPO – applications filed before this date can claim the earlier filing/priority date of the EU trade mark application. If you require any assistance in relation to this then please contact us as soon as possible.

Potter Clarkson is here to support you through these changes. Find out how we can help you below. 

'Cloned' rights registrations

To help ease the additional administrative burden – and associated liabilities – the cloned rights will bring to your portfolio, we are offering a free service to take on the full professional management of these cloned UK rights.

This will ensure deadlines are not missed, correspondence is processed effectively and contentious proceedings which rely on these cloned rights are managed appropriately. You will also benefit from the full breadth and experience of our award-winning trade marks and designs teams.

Appointing us as your UK representative is a straightforward process. Simply provide us with details of the EU rights to be cloned. Contact us via this link and we will begin the smooth transition immediately.

Pending applications

For TM and design applications that were pending at the EUIPO on 31 December 2020, there was a 9-month window which expired on 30 September 2021 to convert those applications into corresponding applications before the UKIPO in order to maintain protection in the UK. If this deadline was missed, then a new application will need to be filed in order to secure trade mark protection in the UK. Please contact us if you would like any information in relation to this.

To assist with your UK trade mark protection, Potter Clarkson is able to offer highly competitive filing costs in the UK.

Our filing fees for reporting publication and registration of an objection free application will be £300.

UK and EU filing packages

Moving forward, it will be necessary to file separate applications in the UK and EU in order to maintain protection across both jurisdictions.

We will provide competitive fee packages if you instruct us to file simultaneous UK and EU trade mark applications for the same trade mark, covering the same goods and services.