Intellectual Property Chief Appointed To China Despite Scandal

The Government has appointed its first ever Intellectual Property official to China despite an ongoing scandal into powerful lobbyists influencing its dealings with the Chinese Government.

The Intellectual Property Office has announced on Thursday morning that Tom Duke, former head the Intellectual Property (IP) Centre at the European Union Chamber of Commerce in South Korea, will be based at the British Embassy in Beijing working British businesses operating in China to advise on industry concerns.

The decision comes only days after The Independent revealed that Public Relations company Bell Pottinger had boasted about its access to "the heart of the Government" and claimed to have used its influence, on behalf of engineering firm Dyson, to ask David Cameron to complain about copyright infringement to the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during a state visit in June.

On Wednesday, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister Jon Trickett, announced he had written to the Cabinet Secretary Gus O'Donnell to ask him to initiate an investigation into the claims and asked specific questions about the Chinese visit.

However, the Government has gone ahead with their appointment of their first IP Attaché to the country, saying the Chinese market presented "a great opportunity for UK businesses".

An Intellectual Property Office spokesman said that UK companies were often "put off" from dealing in China due to fears that their intellectual property will be "appropriated".

Speaking at the Symposium Baroness Wilcox announced that the UK and Chinese Governments had agreed to hold an annual meeting between IP authorities to share information and "support businesses".


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