Hong Kong IP office survey finds solid support for guarding intellectual property rights

The Intellectual Property Department (IPD) announced today (March 31) the results of the Survey on Public Awareness of Intellectual Property Right Protection 2016. The survey has been commissioned by the IPD since 1999 to gauge public awareness of intellectual property (IP) rights protection in Hong Kong.

Similar to previous surveys, an overwhelming majority (93.9 per cent) of the 1 005 respondents considered it necessary to protect IP rights in Hong Kong. Around 90 per cent of them are aware of the existence of legislation protecting copyright, trademarks and patents, while over 50 per cent are aware of legislation protecting registered designs.

Most of the respondents considered that IP rights protection would help the development of local creative industries (75.4 per cent) and the overall economic development of Hong Kong (67.2 per cent).

On consumer behaviours, only 7.1 per cent of the respondents indicated they often or sometimes bought pirated or counterfeit goods, similar to 7.4 per cent in the last survey. Furthermore, a total of 80.2 per cent respondents considered that buying like-real products (e.g. trainers, handbags) is an infringement of IP rights.

In the online environment, 40.8 per cent of Internet users indicated that they would definitely or possibly pay to listen to songs, watch movies online or download songs/movies/computer software/games/e-books from authorised websites, and the proportion has been increasing since 2008 (21 per cent). The top three reasons for making a payment were similar to those in the last survey, namely “to respect IP rights” (35.7 per cent), to “give support to creative industries” (24.8 per cent), and “for better quality” (24.6 per cent). Conversely, 57.7 per cent indicated that they possibly/definitely would not pay, with the top three reasons being “don’t have a habit of listening to songs/watching movies/ playing electronic games/reading” (23.4 per cent), “seldom/never download any files” (14.9 per cent) and “other channels for listening/watching online are available” (14.6 per cent).

The three most-mentioned risks of listening to pirated music, watching pirated movies/TV shows online or downloading music/movies/TV shows from unauthorised websites were “computer may get a virus” (28.2 per cent), “violating the law” (26 per cent) and “being prosecuted” (25.9 per cent).

The survey also revealed that among the respondents who were Internet users, the majority (77.3 per cent) agreed that “it is morally wrong to download music/movies/TV shows from online communities/unauthorised websites even knowing that it is an infringement of IP rights”, which was higher than 69.5 per cent in 2014.

On the “No Fakes Pledge” scheme jointly operated by the IPD and a number of retail and industry associations, over half of the respondents (56.2 per cent) indicated that they had heard of the scheme, up from 48.7 per cent in the last survey. A total of 84 per cent of these respondents also considered the scheme helpful in building the confidence of consumers and tourists for shopping in Hong Kong, or in strengthening Hong Kong’s status as a shoppers’ paradise.

The Director of Intellectual Property, Ms Ada Leung, said, “It is encouraging to see that the awareness of IP rights protection and respect for IP rights remain high among the general public in Hong Kong. In particular, we are pleased to note an increasing trend of users willing to pay to access online music, videos and other copyright materials from authorised websites. We believe that public education is important in enhancing IP protection, and will keep up our efforts in engaging the public, especially among the younger generation, through various educational and promotional programmes.”

The report of the survey is available on the IPD’s webpage:www.ipd.gov.hk/eng/promotion_edu/survey.htm.

 

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