IP Outreach Research > IP Use and Awareness


Title: Survey on Business Attitudes to Intellectual Property 2005
Author: [Mercado Solutions Associates Ltd]

Intellectual Property Department (Government of Hong Kong SAR)

Year: 2005


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: 1.206 business establishments
Methodology: Mail survey

Main Findings

Intellectual property (IP) awareness of Hong Kong business establishments is generally high and has changed little since 2004: in 2005, about nine in ten respondents were aware that IP covered trademarks (98.7%), copyright (99.8%), patents (98.3%) and designs (88.2%). Consistent with 2004 results, 95.6% considered that it was very or quite necessary to protect IP rights in Hong Kong's business environment. The awareness of IP protection legislation continued to be high (at 92%). As in 2004, an overwhelming majority of businesses surveyed (96.1%) considered IPs valuable assets of a company. Accordingly, 93% (versus 88.4% a year ago) 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 37.4% of respondents (versus 40% in 2004) considered the IP protection in place adequate, more than half (55.7%, versus 54.6% in 2004) did not. While support for "raising awareness of IP rights protection/strengthening education" (at 76.4%), and for increasing penalties for infringements (at 52.1%) has remained stable, stronger enforcement (at 62.2%, versus 54.4% in 2004) seems to have become more important.

22.9% of business establishments (up from 12.5% a year ago) reported having registered IP (trademarks, patens or designs), whereas a majority (77.1%) had not done so. Larger businesses were more likely to have registered IP. Staff specifically responsible for IP management is still not too common: only about one in five businesses (up from one in ten) reported having any employee(s) responsible for IP management. 48.8% of respondents (versus 40% in 2004) would check the Hong Kong trademark register before using/adopting their own trademark, while 51.2% would not; 77.9% (versus 80.9% in 2004) reported searching the patent register so as to avoid infringing others' inventions.

This year, more businesses (89.6%, up from 85.4%) considered IP protection as helpful to the development of local creative industries. As in 2004, about three in four respondents (73.4%) agreed that IP rights protection was helpful for enhancing the creation of business opportunity and wealth, and 71.1% (up from 67.2%) 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 (58.4%, similar to 2004); it investigates IP infringements (46.2%, unchanged), and that it is responsible for criminal justice of IP (33.5%, new). The most effective channel for the IPD's advertising and promotional campaigns continued to be TV (with 90.4% encountering IPD activities in that medium), followed by print ad/promotional materials (56.3%, up from 40.9%), radio (51.6%, virtually unchanged), and seminars/exhibitions (23.1%, up from 11.7%). As a year ago, favourable and unfavourable opinions regarding the effectiveness of IPD's outreach activities were evenly split (43.4% considered them effective, while 48.5% did not).

[Date Added: Aug 18, 2008 ]