If the UK leaves the EU following the Referendum on 23  June, existing EU Trade Marks (formerly known as Community Trade Marks) may no longer have effect in the UK and will possibly have to be re-registered as national UK rights. New applications for EU Trade Marks filed after a Brexit may not cover the UK either, meaning that separate applications for UK national rights would be required. Both are likely to result in additional IP protection costs for businesses. Existing (or future) European Patents designating the UK will be unaffected by a Brexit, as the current European Patent system is not related to the UK’s membership of the EU. However, protection under the new Unitary Patent system, due to be introduced in early 2017, would not extend to the UK.