By Marcus Leach
The UK’s first ever Intellectual Property (IP) Attaché has been appointed and will start work in China on 14 December.
The position is an important part of the Government’s plans to strengthen trade relations and unlock the growth potential of UK businesses abroad.
Tom Duke is the former head the IP Centre at the European Union Chamber of Commerce in South Korea. He will be based at the British Embassy in Beijing and will be working alongside UKTI and British businesses operating in China to provide support and advice on industry concerns about the enforcement of IP rights.
Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Wilcox announced the appointment at the first UK-China Symposium held in London today (Thursday).
“The Chinese market presents a great opportunity for UK businesses - in 2010 trade between the two nations was worth an estimated £42 million. By appointing our first IP Attaché in Beijing it will provide a physical presence for British businesses and help to build relations with intellectual property agencies in China," Baroness Wilcox said.
“We need an efficient global intellectual property system where businesses have the confidence to trade in growing markets. I’m delighted that we have been able to agree to share information and ensure that intellectual property rights both here and in China are enforced robustly.”
Tom Duke said that he was relishing the chance to work in China in such an important role.
“This is a fantastic chance to work closely with UK businesses and build on our already strong links in China. I am looking forward to playing an important role in addressing the intellectual property protection and enforcement issues that have been raised by UK companies,” he said.
UK companies are often put off from dealing in China due to fears that their intellectual property will be appropriated. Speaking at the Symposium Baroness Wilcox announced that the UK and Chinese Governments have agreed to hold an annual meeting between all relevant IP authorities to share information and support businesses.
The Symposium was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron during the China Summit in July 2011. Commissioner Tian Lipu, Minister from the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) was in attendance along with around 60 senior UK business leaders and senior representatives from the Chinese business community.
Join us on