By Max Clarke

The UK’s Intellectual Property Office has signed a landmark copyright agreement with the government of Nigeria in order to improve international cooperation on copyright issues between the two nations.

The agreement is the first of its kind signed with an African country and follows on from the ongoing changes recommended in the Hargreaves’ review of intellectual property.

“Effective copyright law in the UK and Nigeria is essential for the future growth of both nations’ creative industries,” commented the UK’s intellectual minister, Baroness Wilcox. “Businesses need to have confidence in the intellectual property systems of other countries if they are to prosper in international markets.

The move mirrors a number of efforts to enhance international recognition of intellectual property rights, including efforts by the European Patent Office to establish a single, unifying patent for the continent. This would significantly reduce the cost and effort from businesses of protecting their innovations.

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