To help businesses prepare for Brexit, the UK Government has confirmed through proposed legislation that it will ensure that an equivalent UK registered design will be automatically generated for any existing granted EU registered design that is published, and any international Hague registered design designating the EU which is published and deemed accepted by the EUIPO, on the day when the UK leaves the EU. The creation of this equivalent re-registered design in the UK will be at minimal administrative burden, and without cost to the registered owner.

In a bid to provide further clarity on the above process, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has released a communication setting out the proposed numbering system that will be used for the newly generated UK registered designs. A copy of that communication issued by the UKIPO can be accessed on the UK Government website.

EU registered designs

For UK registered designs that are re-registered from an existing EU registered design, the UK registered design number will consist of the full 13-digit number assigned to the EU registered design, but prefixed with the digit "9". The following examples, taken from the above UKIPO communication, demonstrate how such re-registered UK designs will be numbered.

International registered designs

For existing international registered designs that designate the EU, the number allocated to the corresponding UK registered design will consist of the full international design number prefixed with the digit "8". Again, to use the examples from the communication issued by the UKIPO, the new UK re-registered design numbers will be as follows:

Conclusion

The above communication from the UKIPO provides welcome clarity on the numbering system to be used for the new UK registered designs which are to be generated in the event the UK leaves the EU.