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The UK and Chinese governments have agreed to coordinate policies and development of copyright law. The governments have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) pledging closer working on the issue.

The document was signed on behalf of the UK's Intellectual Property Office by Baroness Wilcox, a minister at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills responsible for intellectual property policy.

The MoU is "a general framework for bilateral cooperation", it said, and represented a declaration by the governments of "their willingness to strengthen the copyright strategic partnership through continued international cooperation between them on all matters relating to copyright".

The MoU pledged that the governments would engage in "coordination on international copyright issues of importance".

It also bound the countries to the "exchange of information and sharing of best practice ... including joint consideration of copyright laws, regulations, enforcement procedures, rules and procedural documents".

The agreement was also signed by Liu Binjie, Minister of the National Copyright Administration of China.

“This agreement will see our two nations work together to improve the prospects for businesses in both countries," said Baroness Wilcox. "UK firms will be helped to understand and therefore access the Chinese market. The agreement will also help develop ways of protecting companies in both countries from missing out on the benefits of their creativity through piracy and counterfeiting."

Through the MoU the governments agreed to discuss topical issues related to copyright law and policy as they emerge and to ensure that their joint approach to considering copyright is reflected in any other agreements between the nations.

The MoU has a five-year term.

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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