News story

Planned system maintenance: 11pm 31 December 2020 to 1pm 4 January 2021

IPO internal and external services for trade marks, designs and patents disrupted.

The transition period relating to the UK’s exit from the European Union will end on 31 December 2020.

From the 1 January 2021 all existing EU Trade Marks (EUTM), Registered Community Designs (RCDs) and International Registrations designating the EU will only cover the remaining 27 EU Member States.

These registered rights will no longer provide protection in the UK.

On 1 January 2021, under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, the IPO will create a re-registered UK design and UK comparable trade mark for every RCD and EUTM (including International EU designs and trade marks) that are protected at the end of the transition period.

The IPO will need to amend our systems and undertake maintenance to create these rights. As a result, our customers will experience disruption to our internal and external services for trademarks and designs while essential work takes place.

Services will be disrupted from 11pm 31 December 2020 until 1pm 4 January 2021.

Effect on services

The following services will be affected:

Trade marks



The following services will be affected:

Effect on dates

Digital application services will be unavailable on this date.

If the filing date of 31 December 2020 to 04 January 2021 is important you can apply for a trade mark or design through our paper application channels.

Customers can file an opposition between 31 December 2020 to 04 January 2021 as services using the paper form are unaffected.

You will not be able to file a threatened opposition and we advise that you do this in advance of 11pm 31 December. Customers should contact our information centre if they need to file during this service disruption.

You should respond in advance of any deadlines set by the IPO for your trade mark (including Right Start payments) or design application if it falls on 31 December 2020, 01 January 2021 or 04 January 2021.

Effect on our customer service delivery

Our Information Centre will not be available from 1pm on Thursday 31 December 2020. You should not rely on other direct line numbers being answered during this period.

Our Information Centre hours over the Christmas and New Year are available.

Our Internal services will also be affected until 1pm on 04 January 2021.

This means we will be unable to view and advise on the progress of your trade mark or design application. All areas of our internal services, from receipt to post-registration of applications will be unavailable.

For more information please refer to Intellectual property after 1 January 2021.

Published 3 December 2020