The UK Government response to call for views on Address for Service (AfS) has been published. This confirms that new UK trade mark, design and patent applications and oppositions from 1 January 2021 will need an address in the UK, Gibraltar or the Channel Islands (subject to legislative implementation). 

This means the UKIPO will no longer accept addresses in the EEA. A UK address for service will not be required for the renewal of existing registered or granted rights. The rules will include transitional provisions for ongoing cases. EU Trade Mark and Registered Community Design rights that will be re-created on the UK register will not need a UK address for service in the three years following the end of the Brexit transition period.

A full UKIPO business guide to the changes can be found here.

CIPA President Richard Mair said:

"This is an excellent development. It corrects a gross inequality which our Members have had to suffer over the last few years. The UK has allowed addresses for service anywhere in the EEA, while countries such as Germany have insisted on retaining a monopoly of representation by locally qualified practitioners. So we shall at last have a level playing field."

CITMA President Richard Goddard said:

"This will be a positive change and will help protect the UK's world-leading intellectual property environment, those who work within it and the businesses who rely on the expertise of UK IP legal professionals. It is in the interests of IP owners with UK rights to have a qualified professional who is familiar with UK law and practice advising them."

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.