The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has announced that the UK and China have signed agreements on patents and trade marks following meetings in February 2009. In anticipation of China becoming the leading patent filing nation by 2012 and in an attempt to reduce the existing worldwide backlog in processing applications, the agreements provide for UK and Chinese patent examiners to make more use of each others’ work and reduce duplication in examination procedures. The IPO will also co-operate with the Chinese Trade Mark Office to exchange ideas on best practice and training.