The UK is leaving the EU at the end of the year, and the UK government has updated its summary of the key changes. 

One recent announcement from the UK government concerns the address for service rules at the UKIPO. Following a recent consultation, all new UK patent, trade mark and design applications will require an address for service in the UK from 1 January 2021. This will be a change from the current rules which specify that the address for service may be in the UK, or in another EEA state, or in the Channel Islands. The new requirement for a UK-only address for service will also apply to new requests to start contentious proceedings before the UKIPO in relation to patents, trade marks or designs. 

Notably, Brexit will not affect European patents. This is because the European Patent Office is not an EU institution, so the European patent system will continue without any Brexit-related changes. Boult Wade Tennant LLP will continue to have full rights of audience before the European Patent Office.

In contrast, Brexit will impact on European trade marks and designs since these are handled by an EU institution, namely the EUIPO. Nonetheless, Boult Wade Tennant will continue to be able to act for our clients in all such matters. In addition to our four offices in the UK, we have full service offices in Berlin and Frankfurt in Germany, as well as Boult Wade, S.L. in Madrid, Spain, so we are well-placed to provide a one-stop shop for UK and European IP matters.

To learn more about the impact of Brexit on your European IP rights, please review our Brexit Toolkit at or contact your usual advisor.