Design rights before and after Brexit—comparison table

The following IP practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Design rights before and after Brexit—comparison table
  • Design rights before and after Brexit
  • Comparison table
  • Further information

Design rights before and after Brexit—comparison table

Design rights before and after Brexit

The purpose of this Practice Note is to summarise, at a glance, the various different design rights available in the UK prior to and following Brexit.

In summary, the UK’s decision to leave the EU means that, on 31 December 2020 (the end of the implementation period provided for in the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU and referred to as ‘IP completion day’), the UK ceased to be subject to the registered Community design (RCD) regime or the unregistered Community design (UCD) regime. The UK is no longer included in the territory covered by the RCD and UCD and the UK is no longer subject to Regulation (EC) 6/2002. This also applies to international design registrations which designate the EU.

As a consequence, the UK set up a system whereby the holder of an RCD or a UCD automatically became the holder of a comparable design right in the UK at the end of the implementation period (ie from IP completion day).

The protection afforded by UCDs is wider than that afforded by the UK unregistered design right regime (which relates only to the shape or configuration of the whole or part of an article and does not extend to surface decoration). In the circumstances, the UK also introduced a supplementary unregistered design right to

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