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New UKIPO Address for Service Rules

From 01 January 2021, the UKIPO no longer accepts a European Economic Area (EEA) address as a valid address for service. This rule change means that you will need to nominate a UK, Gibraltar or the Channel Islands address for service, if you wish to file any new application for a patent, trade mark or registered design, and for any proceedings on such cases.

For UK trade marks and designs that were “cloned” from corresponding EU trade marks and designs on 1 January 2021, there is a 3 year transition period ending on 31 December 2023, before a valid UK address for service is required for any proceedings on those cloned cases. Please note, however, that this transition period does not apply to UK trade marks and designs that were cloned from International trade marks or designs.

The new rules have some unexpected consequences for patent validation in the UK, following grant of an European patent. Although European patents themselves have not been affected by Brexit (because the European Patent Convention is not an EU institution), the changes to the UKIPO’s rules relating to address for service mean that it will no longer be possible to appoint a non-UK representative on UK patent validations following grant of an European patent.

If you need assistance with securing a UK address for service, we are here to help.

Please note that a UK address is not required if you just need to renew existing registered rights.

Further information on the new rules can be found here.