The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has agreed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today.

This MoU reiterates the commitment of the IPO and CMA to furthering their strong co-operation, and work closely in areas of joint interest.

Properly functioning, competitive markets have a vital role to play in stimulating growth and in encouraging innovation in goods and services. IP and competition law play complementary roles to help deliver these objectives.

This formalisation of cooperation expresses the commitment by the IPO and CMA to enable the continued sharing of information and best practice in broad areas of common interest. Such areas could include the growing importance of technology and of digital markets to the UK economy.

The MoU makes formal provision for both offices to co-operate in a wide range of activities. These include:

  • providing technical assistance, such as sharing subject-area knowledge and expertise, and best practice;
  • sharing relevant information on workstreams, specific issues of concern, and policy proposals or developments; and
  • carrying out joint projects in areas of mutual interest

Adam Williams, Chief Executive and Comptroller-General of the Intellectual Property Office said: 

“I am delighted that this MoU will help us build upon our existing close relationship with the CMA. It is crucial that we work effectively with our UK partners in areas of common interest, and today’s MoU creates a positive framework to pool expertise and knowledge. “Furthering our existing strong cooperation will help us embrace the challenges that rapid changes in technology and society herald. This is vital to the UK IPO’s strategy to create a world-leading IP environment. “

Sarah Cardell, Chief Executive of the Competition and Markets Authority said: 

“The relationship between protecting intellectual property and protecting competition is an important driver for innovation, particularly in dynamic sectors such as life sciences and digital markets.

“The CMA’s strong relationship with the IPO will enable us to work effectively together to further innovation, in the interests of consumers, businesses and the whole UK economy.”

This Memorandum of Understanding will be reviewed at least every 3 years from the point it comes into force. Any changes will be subject to the agreement of both parties.


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