The appointment of the UK’s first ever Intellectual Property (IP) Attaché will be welcomed by those who already work with China and give confidence to those businesses who are planning to working with China in the future. According to the UKIPO, “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”.
Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said of the appointment, “We are absolutely delighted with this positive step and we will be seeking the first opportunity to create strong links with Tom Duke and his team. However, the all too familiar reality is that for many design-led UK businesses the emergence of copies and lookalikes commissioned by some UK retail buying chains from China is a real threat to business growth. It is to be hoped that whilst fostering new opportunities in China, real dialogue will take place through the newly appointed IP attaché Tom Duke and the Chinese Government on the escalation of copying issues.
IP Minister Baroness Wilcox announced the appointment at the first UK-China Symposium held in London today saying, “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.
“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, “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.”