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Intellectual property abroad

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial, which means they only give protection in the countries where they are granted or registered. Unprotected items can be used freely, including for import and export.

To protect your IP abroad, you usually need to apply in each country you want protection in, although this is not always necessary.

Extension of United Kingdom IP rights

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Usually, you need to apply for your IP rights abroad. However, some countries may extend your UK protection, accepting it as protected in the country concerned, after completing certain local requirements.

Copyright protection abroad

Your copyright works usually get automatic protection abroad, in the same way as in the UK.


You can get design protection in Europe.

There are no international agreements, but design protection aboard is available.


If your application contains information about military technology, or could harm national security or public safety, you must request permission to apply for a patent abroad.

You can get patent protection in Europe.

You can get patent protection worldwide.

Trade marks

You can get trade mark protection in Europe.

You can get trade mark protection worldwide.