Minister promises “call for views” on address for service

24th Jul 2020

Government minister Nadhim Zahawi MP has responded to concerns of UK Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys in Parliament, promising a “call for views”.


During an evidence session with the EU Services Sub-Committee, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Business and Industry) Nadhim Zahawi MP heard our concerns that without urgent action an uneven playing field will be created between UK professionals and EEA professional representatives post-Brexit. 

Lord McNally emphasised that time is of the essence and referenced the fears of UK Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys, explaining that as things stand, “a genuine two-way street is a long way off”.

Lord McNally told the Minister that it is a profession that has a big problem, so “this broad brush, it’ll be alright on the night approach is not really good enough”. 

In response Mr Zahawi said: “We appreciate the importance of the IP attorney profession….The Intellectual Property Office is exploring options in relation to rules on address for service once the transition period ends. 

“To that end the IPO are looking to carry out a call for views as soon as possible to consider what options suit representatives.”  

Lord McNally raised further concerns saying: “It is a little worrying that with five months to go that a serious profession in an important sector raises a really fundamental issue and your reply is that we are going to ask for views.”

Mr Zahawi responded: “It is not lost upon us the importance of the IP sector. The UK is a pretty big player in IP. The IPO is exploring options at the moment.” 

Lord McNally also questioned the minister on whether implementing a statutory instrument to correct the imbalance on address for service was being considered. Mr Zahawi confirmed that it was one of the options that has been put forward. 

On rights of representation for UK legal practitioners, Nadhim Zahawi MP also reiterated that: “Rights before EU institutions are the preserve of the single market and so do not form part of the UK’s approach the negotiations with the EU.” 

You can watch the full evidence (from 10:48), click here to access Parliament TV.