IP Outreach Research > IP Use and Awareness


Title: Survey on Business Attitudes to Intellectual Property 2004
Author: [Mercado Solutions Associates Ltd]

Intellectual Property Department (Government of Hong Kong SAR)

Year: 2004


Subject/Type: IP Knowledge, IP Protection
Focus: Commercialisation, Economic / Financial Impact, Enforcement, Outreach / Education
Country/Territory: Hong Kong, China
Objective: To investigate businesses’ awareness of and attitudes towards intellectual property rights.
Sample: 1.204 business establishments
Methodology: Mail survey

Main Findings

Intellectual property (IP) awareness of Hong Kong business establishments is generally high: about nine in ten respondents were aware that IP covered trademarks (99.9%), copyright (99.5%), patents (97.2%) and designs (89.3%). 95% considered that it was very or quite necessary to protect IP rights in Hong Kong's business environment, while only 2.3% did not. 93% were aware of IP protection legislation. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority of businesses surveyed (95%) considered IPs valuable assets of a company. Accordingly, 88.4% agreed that protecting/registering IP was beneficial to their company (as a protection to prevent others from copying/using their IP; as a means of building up reputation/goodwill, and of earning income).

While 40% of respondents considered the IP protection in place adequate, more than half (54.6%) did not. 77.8% supported "raising awareness of IP rights protection/strengthening education", and more than one in two respondents was in favour of more enforcement (54.4%) and harsher penalties for infringements (51.2%).

12.5% of business establishments reported having registered IP (trademarks, patens or designs), whereas a majority (87.5%) had not done so. Larger businesses were more likely to have registered IP. Staff specifically responsible for IP management is not too common: only one in ten businesses reported having any employee(s) responsible for IP management. 40% of respondents would check the Hong Kong trademark register before using/adopting their own trademark, while 60% would not; over 80% reported searching the patent register so as to avoid infringing others' inventions.

Most businesses (85.4%) considered IP protection as helpful to the development of local creative industries. Three in four respondents (75.6%) agreed that IP rights protection was helpful for enhancing the creation of business opportunity and wealth, and 67% considered it helpful for Hong Kong's overall economic development.

Generally, most business establishments were aware of the Intellectual Property Department (IPD) and its activities; however, knowledge about specific services and activities varied. The most common misconceptions of IPD were that: it receives complaints regarding IP violations (55.2%); it investigates IP infringements (46.4%), and that it combats piracy and counterfeiting (44.4%). The most effective channel for the IPD's advertising and promotional campaigns seems to be TV (with 90.5% encountering IPD activities in that medium), followed by radio (52.7%), print ad/promotional materials (40.9%), and seminars/exhibitions (11.7%). Favourable and unfavourable opinions regarding the effectiveness of IPD's outreach activities were evenly split (45.5% considered them effective, while 47.8% did not).

[Date Added: Aug 18, 2008 ]