For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Baroness appoints Duke to protect Royalty and other IP interests in China

"Not another telling-off from the IPKat!", mewed the Men
from the Ministry -- but this time they were in for some
well-earned and unexpected praise ...
While the IPKat and Merpel regard it as their public duty to criticise the UK government for its shortcomings, misperceptions and erroneous assumptions concerning intellectual property, they do so with a certain degree of sadness.  Governments that change their policies and their personnel every few years are actually quite like excitable and eager-to-please children who never grow up, and the IPKat team -- acting in loco parentis as it were -- must chide them, give them a telling-off where necessary, while all the time reminding them that they have the government's best interests and the welfare of the nation at heart.  This makes it all the more exciting to be able to pat the government on the head from time to time and say, "well done, you've got it right".

Something which the UK government does seem to have got right can be found in today's media release from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, "New Intellectual Property Attaché in China will support UK businesses".  This reads in relevant part as follows:
"The UK’s first ever Intellectual Property (IP) Attaché has been appointed and will start work in China on 14 December [Goodness, that's soon, says the IPKat. What a shame the government's other recent good idea, the Patents County Court's small claims track, can't be put into operation so quickly ...]. 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 [with the amazing acronym "EUCCK"]. 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. Baroness Wilcox said:
“... 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. We need an efficient global intellectual property system [not so easy, says Merpel, when you see how long it has taken us to develop an inefficient, non-global one] 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:
“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"".
This Kat recalls that, speaking at this Spring's Fordham IP Conference in New York, the US Intellectual Property Enforcement Commissioner Victoria Espinel said that her office was committed to doing much the same thing, and that the impression he received was that this made US businesses, particularly those not large and strong enough to look after themselves, more confident about all aspects of trade with China, the non-contentious as well as the other sort.  He hopes that the benefits of this exercise will be quantified and that, in result, more resources will be made available to support Tom in this important work.

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