IP Outreach Research > IP Use and Awareness


Title: Global Survey on Counterfeiting and Piracy
Author: Joseph Lampel and Ajay Bhalla [City University, London], Pushkar Jha [University of Newcastle]

International Chamber of Commerce Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP)

Year: 2007


Subject/Type: IP Protection
Focus: Economic / Financial Impact, Enforcement
Country/Territory: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, International, Japan, Netherlands, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan Province of China, Türkiye, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Viet Nam
Objective: To evaluate corporate perceptions of the degree to which countries protect/fail to protect intellectual property from the threat of piracy and counterfeiting.
Sample: Corporate decision makers from 48 large firms trading globally, belonging to approximately 27 different industries
Methodology: Survey

Main Findings

When asked to list the top five countries with the most favourable intellectual property (IP) environments (i.e. the set of legislative, enforcement, and public awareness dimensions that together make up the intellectual property system of a particular country), survey respondents ranked the USA highest (followed by the UK, Germany, France and Japan). Good IP environment rankings are primarily based on two elements: firstly, an effective role of the media in raising public awareness of the importance of combating piracy and counterfeiting, and, secondly, strong public cooperation with enforcement agencies in combating piracy and counterfeiting.

The list of the top five countries with the least favourable IP environments is headed by China (followed by Russia, India, Brazil and Indonesia). The main factors contributing to an unfavourable IP environment rating are: firstly, the country's unwillingness to fulfil its international IP obligations; secondly, local media disregard for the importance of combating piracy and counterfeiting, and, thirdly, lack of cooperation of the public with IP enforcement agencies.

The amount of resources a government commits to enforcement, and clear government policies against piracy seem to be key factors determining the perception of a country's IP environment. Given the fact that respondents felt that legislation protecting IP is adequate even in countries with poor IP environments, the challenge these countries face is not so much IP legislation per se, but rather the lack of enforcement. Respondents also indicated that additional resources should be primarily allocated to enforcement, as opposed to legislation and public information.

A country's IP policies, enforcement, and public cooperation are found to have an impact on companies' decisions regarding the location of product development activities, technology transfer, and plant location. According to the authors, this suggests that long-term damage to a country's attractiveness as a location for high value-added economic activity outweighs perceived temporary economic benefits from piracy and counterfeiting.

The survey authors furthermore highlight the important role of the media, both in increasing public awareness about the need for IP protection and in informing the public of the consequences of infringement (which seems to be an increasingly important method for combating piracy and counterfeiting, above all for businesses where IP content is embedded). Proactive media can act as a powerful catalyst reinforcing the interaction among legislation, enforcement and education.

[Date Added: Aug 18, 2008 ]