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Reviewed 5 September 2011

IPO builds international links with Nigeria

A landmark copyright agreement has been signed between the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and counterparts from Nigeria. The agreement is the first of its kind between the IPO and an African country, and will improve international cooperation on copyright issues between the two nations.

The move follows the UK Government’s acceptance of the recommendations made in the Hargreaves Review of intellectual property and growth. The review highlighted that the UK should continue to pursue international interests in intellectual property.

Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Wilcox said:

"Effective copyright law in the UK and Nigeria is essential for the future growth of both nations’ creative industries. Businesses need to have confidence in the intellectual property systems of other countries if they are to prosper in international markets.

"This agreement will create opportunities for information sharing as well as opportunities for training and development in the UK and Nigeria."

The agreement was signed today (5 September 2011) in London by the IPO's Chief Executive John Alty and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Afam Ezekude.

Notes to editors

  • The title of the agreement is; Memorandum of understanding on strategic cooperation on copyright between the Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom and the Nigerian Copyright Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • The purpose of the memorandum, as set out in the document states: 'This Memorandum sets out the understanding reached on a general framework for bilateral cooperation between the Participants. Throughout the Memorandum the Participants declare their willingness to strengthen the copyright strategic partnership through continued international cooperation between them on all matters relating to copyright.'
  • The understanding is valid for five years and will be automatically renewed for successive periods of five years unless one of the participants terminates the agreement.
  • The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) and is responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
  • Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge-based economy.
  • It operates in a national and an international environment and its work is governed by national and international law, including various international treaties relating to Intellectual Property (IP) to which the United Kingdom is a party.
  • Photos of the agreement being signed are available from press office upon request
  • For further information, please contact Joe Upton on 0207 215 5969.

Date of release: 5 September 2011