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UK IPO signs education deal, jumps on next flight

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Britain's Intellectual Property Office will "promote the understanding of IP" in developing countries after signing a deal with the head of the UN's World Intellectual Property Organisation.

Brit patent specialists will be flown out around the world to give workshops and seminars, essentially educating nations on the benefits of obeying intellectual property law.

The six-event education programme was agreed yesterday when Britain's John Alty, the UK's IPO chief, signed a nine-point joint agreement with Francois Gurry, director general of the UN's WIPO.

Everyone will benefit from an increased understanding of IP said Gurry, who was speaking at the 2012 WIPO Assembly. People needed "an even playing field" to "innovate", he said, adding:

The position of IP as a battleground for intense competition reinforces the need for a rules-based international system. Rules should provide an even playing field and should save us from the temptation to lapse into forms of technological protectionism or mercantilism.

Gurry said that promoting the use of intellectual property in developing and least-developed nations would ensure "that all countries benefit from the global knowledge economy". ®

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