China-UK deal to promote UK IP services to Chinese business

Published: 6 April, 2016

The Chinese government has reached a formal agreement with the UK to promote the services of UK patent and trade mark attorneys to Chinese businesses.  

The UK is one of China’s primary partners for Intellectual Property cooperation. This has helped shape real change - on patent protection, copyright enforcement and civil court procedures.

The agreement is evidence of recent progress made by the UK-China Joint Economics and Trade Commission (JETC) on developing closer business ties between the two countries.

The UK patent and trade mark profession competes with firms in other European countries to represent companies from outside Europe requiring protection of their intellectual property in Europe.

This work includes filing and prosecuting European patent applications and EU trade mark applications. Such work represents a considerable chunk of the UK’s legal service industry trade surplus and valuable invisible earnings for the UK.

In recent years China has increasingly recognised the benefits of intellectual property protection and is now one of the largest patent filing countries in the world. The value of the services provided to Chinese companies wanting patents, registered designs and registered trade marks in Europe is already worth many millions of pounds and looks set to grow steeply during the forthcoming years.

In a joint statement on closer business co-operation between China and the UK, the JETC stated: “The UK and China agree that effective intellectual property protection underpins bilateral trade, investment and innovation collaboration. Both sides will continue to work together to help British companies protect IP in China and Chinese companies protect IP in the UK.”

“Both sides agree to explore opportunities for Chinese companies to further benefit from the expertise of British patent and trade mark attorneys in obtaining IP protection in Europe.”

For more information contact Neil Lampert at