IP Outreach Research > IP Use and Awareness


Title: Survey on Business Attitudes to Intellectual Property 2006
Author: [Mercado Solutions Associates Ltd]

Intellectual Property Department (Government of Hong Kong SAR)

Year: 2006


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: 1.201 business establishments
Methodology: Mail survey

Main Findings

Intellectual property (IP) awareness of Hong Kong business establishments is generally high and has changed little since 2005: in 2006, about nine in ten respondents were aware that IP covered trademarks (98.8%), copyright (99.8%), patents (98.5%) and designs (87%). Consistent with 2005 results, 96.7% 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 94.2%). As in 2004 and 2005, an overwhelming majority of businesses surveyed (97.1%) considered IPs valuable assets of a company. Accordingly, 92.5% (unchanged) 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).

The adequacy of the IP protection in place was perceived better than in previous years, with 42.2% considering it very/quite adequate (up from 40% in 2004 and 37.4% in 2005), and 51% considering it inadequate (down from 54.6% in 2004 and 55.7% in 2005). Support for "raising awareness of IP rights protection/strengthening education" (at 76.7%), stronger enforcement (at 60.9%), and for increasing penalties for infringements (at 52.4%) has remained stable.

30% of business establishments (up from 22.9% a year ago, and up from 12.5% two years ago) reported having registered IP (trademarks, patens or designs), whereas a majority (69.9%) had not done so. Larger businesses were more likely to have registered IP. Staff specifically responsible for IP management is still not very common, but increasing: whereas in 2004 10%, and in 2005 18.9% of businesses reported having any employee(s) responsible for IP management, in 2006, 22.6% did so. 54.6% of respondents (versus 40% in 2004 and 48.8% in 2005) would check the Hong Kong trademark register before using/adopting their own trademark, while 43.4% would not; 69.7% (versus 80.9% in 2004 and 77.9% in 2005) reported searching the patent register so as to avoid infringing others' inventions.

As in previous years, a strong majority of businesses (89.8%) considered IP protection as helpful to the development of local creative industries. As in 2004 and 2005, about three in four respondents (74.9%) agreed that IP rights protection was helpful for enhancing the creation of business opportunity and wealth, and 72.9% (up from 67.2% in 2004, virtually unchanged from 2005) 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 (55.6%, no change); it investigates IP infringements (43.7%, unchanged), and that it is responsible for criminal justice of IP (32.5%, unchanged). The most effective channel for the IPD's advertising and promotional campaigns continued to be TV (with 90.7% encountering IPD activities in that medium), followed by print ad/promotional materials (58.1%; versus 40.9% in 2004 and 56.3% in 2005), radio (49.2%, virtually unchanged), and seminars/exhibitions (20.1%; versus 11.7% in 2004 and 23.1% in 2005). As in previous survey editions, favourable and unfavourable opinions regarding the effectiveness of IPD's outreach activities were evenly split, but this time tilted slightly more in favour of "effective" (48.3% considered them effective, while 43.8% did not).

[Date Added: Aug 18, 2008 ]