March 16, 2021
The IPO has added a new heading: “Protecting intellectual property rights at the UK border” to its Guidance on IP after 1 January 2021:
- businesses that want to protect their IP rights in the EU and in the UK will need to hold two Applications for Action (AFA), one in the EU and one in the UK;
- businesses that made an application to the UK for IP rights protection in EU countries will need to check the EU EUROPA website for guidance on protecting IP rights in one or more EU Member States;
- if a business made an application in another EU country for IP protection in the UK before the end of the transition period, they need to make a new UK AFA application to continue to protect their IP rights at the UK border;
- HMRC has introduced a new application process to protect IP rights at the UK’s borders. Businesses will need to complete the new UK AFA form; and
the UK Government will recognise existing applications for IP protection in the UK where an application was made in the UK and handled by HMRC Intellectual Property Approvals. These applications will be stored on a UK register at the end of the Transition Period. Businesses can continue to seek enforcement in the UK until their AFA expires and there is no requirement to re-submit a UK application after the transition period. To access the Guidance in full, click here.