News story

UK delegation to China looks to build on IP partnerships

Tim Moss, Chief Executive of the UK Intellectual Property Office has returned from China after leading a successful business delegation to the country.

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His first visit as CEO aimed to reinforce the strength of UK-China collaboration on IP, and highlight the important role it plays in supporting innovation and creativity in both countries.

The visit, between 5th and 10th November, took the delegation to Shanghai, Hangzhou and Beijing. Tim witnessed a number of landmark agreements and new initiatives.

Tim delivered a keynote speech at the China International Industry Fair (CIIF) Innovation and Emerging Industries Development Forum in Shanghai – a major trade event with more than 2,500 exhibitors and 160,000 visitors.

He announced the launch of new practical tools for UK and Chinese researchers and companies to ensure mutually beneficial IP protection. These included a bilingual Non-Disclosure Agreement specifically designed to support clarity on IP arrangements in cross-border collaborative research and technology projects.

Tim Moss said: “Cross-border licensing of technology creates new revenue flows, and spreads cutting-edge technology to markets and research communities around the world.

“The IP system must support international projects. Researchers and companies involved in cross-border collaboration may negotiate IP arrangements that suit their projects. This includes ownership of IP generated by joint research. Commercialisation of jointly developed technology should be transparent, this helps all contributors to benefit.”

He added:

“The new template Non-Disclosure Agreement will help British and Chinese partners develop joint research bids or a technology licensing deal. Drafted in English and Chinese, they allow equal protection to all parties, whether from the UK or China and provides legal certainty so partners can engage with confidence.”

The Non-Disclosure Agreement is part of a set of practical resources and advice we provide to British and Chinese researchers to help them effectively manage IP in cross-border projects. The visit also saw the renewal of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and the Alibaba Group Memorandum of Understanding on IP Protection in Hangzhou.

It builds upon the partnership set up 3 years ago to improve IP protection on Alibaba e-commerce platforms and features improvements to this co-operation.

These included further development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) friendly notice and takedown procedures, greater use of big data and AI technology to target infringements and strengthening offline enforcement activities.

The visit included meetings with key government officials and businesses. These focused on making sure that IP is positioned appropriately in the post-Brexit UK-China trade relationship. There was strong support for improving UK business outcomes in China, including through our IP attaché-led support for UK companies.

Representatives from the UK’s Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA) also formed part of the delegation. They accompanied Tim to support the promotion of UK exports of IP legal services and to help UK patent and trade mark attorneys win business from Chinese companies filing patents and trade marks in Europe.

The UK trade delegation was led by Trade Minister Baroness Fairhead and Local Government Minister Jake Berry, Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), and featured more than 100 companies and local government officials.

The UK was Country-of-Honour at CIFF this year and several activities took place in the UK pavilion, which featured highlights from the global IP campaign “GREAT for Imagination

Published 15 November 2017