Jo Johnson re-appointed as UK IP Minister


It has now been confirmed that Jo Johnson MP is the new IP Minister.  Mr Johnson (younger brother of the new Prime Minister) was appointed Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department for Education on 24 July 2019, with his specific responsibilities “to be confirmed in due course”.  The government has now confirmed (here) that Mr Johnson is Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation and his BEIS responsibilities in that role include IP.  He has returned to this role having previously held the same position from July 2016 to January 2018 (when he then became Minister of State at the Department for Transport and Minister for London until he resigned from government in November 2018). It was during his tenure as IP Minister, in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit referendum decision in June 2016,  that the UK (to the surprise of many) declared its intention to continue participation in the UPC project.  Mr Johnson believed it to be of benefit to UK businesses and inventors, and successfully guided the remaining legislation required for ratification of the UPC Agreement through Parliament, following which Boris Johnson, as Foreign Secretary, formally signed the instrument of ratification on behalf of the UK in April 2018. Consequently Mr Johnson’s reappointment bodes well for continued government support for the UK’s place in the UPC, regardless of the nature of Brexit.

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