IP Outreach Research > IP Use and Awareness


Title: Survey on Public Awareness of the Importance of Protecting Intellectual Property Rights 2002
Author: [Telephone Survey Research Laboratory, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong]

United Nations Public Administration Network

Year: 2002


Subject/Type: IP Knowledge, IP Protection
Focus: Economic / Financial Impact, Enforcement, Outreach / Education
Country/Territory: Hong Kong, China
Objective: To explore the degree of public awareness or knowledge of intellectual property rights, and to evaluate the means of promoting protection of intellectual property rights.
Sample: 1.006 respondents aged 15 or above
Methodology: Telephone interviews

Main Findings

The number of respondents unable to name at least one aspect "intellectual property (IP) rights" refer to is declining: whereas in 1999, 40% could not name any aspect, in 2002 only 28% were unable to do so. Older, less educated, lower income and female respondents proved least familiar with IP rights. The awareness of intellectual property protection legislation is on the rise: it increased from 55.2% in 1999 to 65.5% in 2000 to 73.5% in 2002. The number of people able to correctly identify IP infringing situations has continued to rise through 2002.

According to survey respondents, the main purpose of protecting IP rights is: "protecting invention and creation" (53%, no change since 2001), "protecting interests of manufacturers/manufacturers of genuine goods" (17%, up by 7% from 2001); the "protecting Hong Kong's international image" (4%) rationale, as well as the "upholding morality/incorrect to infringe IP rights" (3.5%) rationale were mentioned less often this year.

A vast majority of respondents (88.7%) thinks that the infringement of IP rights has "a little bit" or "very much" a negative impact. Specific negative impacts mentioned include: "affect Hong Kong's economy" (35.4%, virtually unchanged), "affect Hong Kong's international image" (29.3%, losing importance), "affect inventors or creators /inhibit creativity (14%, up from 8% in 2000 and 2001), "cause losses to copyright owners" (11.2%, up by about 10% since 2000/2001), and "affect producers and manufacturers of genuine goods" (10.8%, significantly higher than in previous years). Measures aiming to improve IP rights awareness and compliance suggested are: "raising awareness of IP rights protection/strengthen education" (22.9%), increasing sanctions for infringements (21%), enforcement action (13.2%), and "government should increase propaganda" (12.3%, gaining popularity).

The awareness of the Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau's main duty is generally rising, but in 2002, still 51.3% of respondents did not know what its purpose was. Between 10% and 20% replied that the bureau's duties included "combating piracy", "investigating into infringing activities" and "cracking down on infringing activities black spots". Only 6.1% (virtually unchanged) recalled that the Hong Kong entity in charge of promoting IP rights was the "Intellectual Property Department" (IPD). Quite a few respondents were unsure about the differences between the Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau's and the IPD's missions.

The most effective channel for the IPD's advertising and promotional campaigns seems to be TV (with 65.5% encountering IPD activities in that medium), followed by radio (32.6%) and print ad/promotional materials (7.3%). The IPD's promotional activities were considered effective by 58.1%, and ineffective by 38%.

[Date Added: Aug 18, 2008 ]