All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Managing IP is part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC group.

Guest blog: Gwilym Roberts on the IPO’s mission to China

Last week saw a delegation from UK IPO and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office visit China. CIPA Council member Gwilym Roberts reports on the trip

The $21 billion flotation of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has again focused the minds of commentators on the continuing difficulties the IP system faces in China. However, there is plenty of good news and the recent IPO/FCO delegation to China achieved both short-term and long-term goals not least in relation to Alibaba itself.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe

The delegation was headed by the new IP minister, Baroness Neville-Rolfe (pictured, right), with judicial weight added by Mr Justice Colin Birss and further expertise contributed by the IPO, CIPA (myself), ITMA (represented by Catherine Wolfe of Boult Wade Tennant; Rachel Wilkinson-Duffy of Baker & Mackenzie; and Rob Furneaux of Sipara) and industry representatives. The goals of the mission were many: to ensure that the UK’s IP needs in China were well understood; to build stronger relations between the countries at multiple levels; and to extoll the virtues of the UK and European IP systems. The trip was also ambitious in its scope. The delegation took in eight cities in five days and spoke to officials from central government as well as the staff of regional patent offices, universities and local businesses. That allowed the delegation’s message to be spread at every level and a whole range of new links to be built.

CIPA was delighted to be represented throughout, with an opportunity to speak at the Beijing IP symposium on day one and to meet officials and business partners in Suzhou, Nanjing and Hong Kong. We have returned with stronger links to both national and local patent offices and enforcement units as well as patent attorney associations and academic institutions, all of which will help to strengthen the UK’s reputation as a global patent quality hub. The IPO’s international reputation will only have been strengthened by the opportunity to exchange best practices. Andy Bartlett (a patent specialist), Nathan Abraham (trade marks) and Andrew Davidson (international development) all spoke authoritatively on various IP-related issues during the visit.

The visit was not all top-down stuff – there were significant specific achievements. Signing an agreement with Alibaba to assist in cracking down on counterfeiters was timely and one of the many highpoints of the trip. It also illustrates how seriously enhancing the IP regime is taken on both sides. CIPA was delighted to be part of the delegation and is proud of what it is already achieving.





More from across our site

António Campinos will serve another five-years as EPO president – perhaps he’ll calm unrest at the office in that time
LGBTQ IP lawyers say using rainbow colours and posting solidarity messages on social media must be followed by concrete action
Brand owners bemoan counterfeiters’ latest wheeze and say enforcement authorities should get more involved
Counsel at Bayer, Novartis, a generics company and other firms debate what the WTO’s patent waiver will mean in the short and long term
The patent office report found that stakeholders were still divided over subject matter eligibility but broadly wanted clarity
The UKIPO published the results of its consultation on AI and IP today, June 28, and plans to shake up the rules on copyright and data
IP consultancy Brandit is the first European intellectual property firm to announce plans for an augmented-reality presence
Patent owners and implementers weigh in on the PTAB Reform Act – its provisions, what it missed and its likelihood of success
Counsel from Blackbird, Unified Patents, two other companies and a law firm debate what new ways to avoid Fintiv mean for petitioners and patent owners
Counsel at six companies say experience, technical expertise and persuasion are some of the most important skills at the board
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree