19 August 2019Sarah Morgan

Jo Johnson returns as IP minister

Jo Johnson, the younger brother of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has been chosen as the new minister for intellectual property.

In a tweet posted late last week, the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) congratulated Johnson, who returns to the role after resigning from Theresa May’s government over her Brexit deal.

The former remain campaigner first took up the role as IP minister in January 2017, succeeding Baroness Neville-Rolfe.

This time, following his brother’s reshuffle of ministers, he succeeds Chris Skidmore, who now serves as minister of the department of health and social care.

In July, Johnson was appointed as minister of state at the department for business, energy and industrial strategy and department for education.

He previously held the role of minister for universities, science, research and innovation from July 2016 to January 2018.

Simon Rees, president of FICPI-UK and partner at IP firm Haseltine Lake Kempner, said: “FICPI-UK is delighted that Jo Johnson is again responsible for IP in his role as IP minister.

“It was evident that he took a very keen and active interest in IP during his previous tenure as minister for state for universities, science, research and innovation between 2016 and 2018, and we’re therefore pleased that he will be able to pick up from where he left off the last time.”

Rees added that Johnson’s experience will be “vital” as the country enters into a critical time over Brexit and international trade negotiations, and the impact these will have on IP.

Tania Clark, president of the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, welcomed the reappointment. 

“The next few months will be pivotal to the future of the IP system in the UK. The importance to businesses of UK chartered trademark attorneys being able to represent clients before the European Union Intellectual Property Office after Brexit is paramount and we will make this clear to Johnson,” she added.

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More on this story

11 January 2017   The UK government has chosen Jo Johnson, a member of parliament and the current innovation minister, as the new minister for intellectual property.
5 September 2019   Jo Johnson, UK minister responsible for IP and younger brother of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has indicated he is to resign from government and as a member of parliament.
28 February 2020   Amanda Solloway, parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has been confirmed as the UK’s minister for IP, working closely with the UKIPO.