News in brief: IP, Intellectual Property Office, Iran, banking

Intellectual property advice
Intellectual property advice

IPO praises work of overseas attachés

Overseas attachés from the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) have helped to protect £440 million worth of British intellectual property across the globe.

The IPO’s attachés – based in China, Brazil, South East Asia, and India –have now advised more than 14,000 UK businesses operating overseas. The attachés are also helping to promote respect for intellectual property in both emerging and established economies, encouraging cooperation and mutual respect for IP rights.

Minister for IP, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “Our IP attachés represent great value for money. They support British businesses operating overseas and have a major impact on the improvement of the global IP system.

“The UK is setting an example to the rest of the world and helping to build universal respect for IP rights. The attachés are having a significant influence on British trade, and protecting IP rights worth millions of pounds to the UK economy.”

Iran’s Bank Mellat to reopen Seoul branch

Iran’s Bank Mellat plans to reopen its branch in Seoul while aiming to normalise operations as early as next month, following the lifting of sanctions on Iran.

The process of restoration of ties between Iran and the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system will be completed within the next week, allowing the bank to issue letters of credit and engage in the trade business.

Last month, the US and the European Union removed decades-long economic curbs on Tehran on the heels of its landmark deal on nuclear armaments with Washington. Since the opening of the branch in the South Korean capital in June 2001, Bank Mellat had supported bilateral trade and foreign exchange transactions, as well as the transfer of wages for Iranians working in South Korea.

A spokesperson from the bank indicated last week that the bank has been working to rebuild the necessary infrastructure to resume normal operations, with very few steps left before the bank is active. It was also indicated that certain discussions with the US are also under way to establish the substitute settlement system using Euro, as the bank cannot accept US Dollars when trading with Iran due to separate sanctions by Washington.