As featured in Intellectual Property magazine

UK and China sign copyright agreement
Monday 06 September
Khurram Aziz – News Editor

The UK has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China on copyright, seeking to share and develop best practices in promoting IP.

According to a press release from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, the agreement will see the UK and China seek coordination on copyright issues “while looking for opportunities for development and training in copyright laws”.

“Regular assessments of progress made under the agreement will be carried out”, said the release.

On signing the agreement, Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Wilcox said, “This agreement will see our two nations work together to improve the prospects for businesses in both countries”.

“UK firms will be helped to understand and therefore access the Chinese market. The agreement will also help develop ways of protecting companies in both countries from missing out on the benefits of their creativity through piracy and counterfeiting”.

China has consistently been singled out as one of the worst countries for IP enforcement in the world, and source of much of the world’s counterfeited and pirated goods.

A recent report from the European Commission said China accounted for 64% of the fake and pirated goods that entered the 27-block European Union in 2009. It also said that the share of fakes originating from China grew by 10% between 2008 and 2009.

Simon Bennett a Partner at Fox Williams said, “this is a welcome development, since close collaboration is what is needed in order to improve the protection of copyright on an international level”.

“I am very much in favour of this approach, as opposed to the US approach, which can be more confrontational”, added Bennett.

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