Although the United Kingdom (UK) government has confirmed that European Union (EU) registered designs existing prior to Brexit will continue to be protected in the UK post-Brexit, there is no proposed process under which pending applications for EU registered designs (EURD) will be automatically transferred into the UK applications process. 

Instead, applicants for pending EURD applications will be given a nine-month window in which they would have to file for an equivalent UK registered design application, in accordance with the applicable application fee structure. 

The process from filing the applications to registration for EURDs can often be quite quick; however, if the EURD application is complicated by a priority filing (requiring the applicant to prove its priority claim), or is a multi-design application (that the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) will have to assess for registrability), objections or queries may be raised, increasing the likelihood that the application could still be pending when the UK leaves the EU.

Practical tip: if your proposed or pending EURD application is complex, consider:

  • preparing in advance of any potential objections raised by the EUIPO (such as gathering necessary documentation, or reconsidering your filing strategy), so as not to delay the registration process, and/or 
  • filing UK and EU applications simultaneously to secure UK rights before any changes are implemented to the UK applications process – including any potential fee increases.