Effective from 1 January 2021, there has been a substantial change to the UK Intellectual Property Office’s (UKIPO) rules on address for service.

Under the previous rules, an application for design, patent or trade marks required an address in either the UK, EEA or Channel Islands for service to which the UKIPO can send correspondence.

This position has changed, and it is now mandatory for all IP owners to provide either a UK (including Isle of Man), Gibraltar or Channel Islands address in order to make new design, patent and trade mark applications. The new address for service rules also apply to any new contentious proceedings brought before the UKIPO after 1 January 2021.

The position in relation to the renewal of existing registered rights and rights created as UK registrations by automatically ‘cloning’ EU registrations as a result of Brexit, will benefit from an initial period of 3 years’ where a UK address for service will not be required.