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Intellectual property in the United Kingdom

Intellectual Property

National Organisations
The UK Intellectual Property Office, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The Government web page Intellectual property and your work offers useful tips on protecting intellectual property.
Regional Organisations
Since 1 February  2020, the United Kingdom has withdrawn from the European Union and has become a “third country”. The Withdrawal Agreement provided for a transition period ending on 31 December  2020. Since the end of the transition period, the EU rules in the field of European Union trade marks and Community designs, in particular Regulation (EU) 2017/10017 and Regulation (EC) No 6/20028, no longer apply to the United Kingdom. For more information, visit the website of EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office).
Brexit will have no consequence on UK membership of the European Patent Organisation, nor on the effect of European patents in the UK. For more information, visit the website of EPO.
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent Act
20 years Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Trademarks Act
10 years Trademark Law Treaty
Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
Design Act
5 years  
Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act 1988
70 years except for typographical arrangements, where it is 25 years. Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty

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Latest Update: April 2024

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