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Awareness of intellectual property rights protection remains high
     The Intellectual Property Department (IPD) announced today (March 31) the results of the Survey on Public Awareness of Intellectual Property (IP) Right Protection 2022, which revealed that the general public maintained a high level of awareness of IP rights and their protection.
     A total of 1 001 members of the public responded to the survey. Over 90 per cent of them were aware that copyright, trademarks and patents are protected under the laws of Hong Kong, recording the highest awareness level since 2008.
     The survey revealed that over 60 per cent of the respondents were positive towards the view that protecting IP rights and developing Hong Kong into a regional IP trading centre could facilitate the development of local arts, culture and creative industries as well as innovation and technology, promote IP-related professional services in Hong Kong, attract foreign investment and increase the competitiveness of Hong Kong.
     The Director of Intellectual Property, Mr David Wong, said, "Legal protection of intangible assets such as copyright, trademarks and patents is the very foundation of using IP to drive economic growth. We will keep up our efforts in promoting IP rights protection to underpin the development of Hong Kong into a regional IP trading centre in line with the National 14th Five-Year Plan."
     The survey findings showed that 95.0 per cent of the respondents had seldom or never bought pirated or counterfeit goods in the past year, reaching a new high since 1999. The major reasons cited were "no need to buy or not interested in pirated or counterfeit goods" (37.6 per cent), "quality of genuine goods is guaranteed" (36.3 per cent) and "respect and support IP rights/support genuine goods" (19.8 per cent).
     The most popular types of copyright content that respondents had uploaded, downloaded or played from websites or streaming platforms in the digital environment in the past year was  "video/movie/TV drama/documentary/live sports events" (51.4 per cent), followed by "music/concerts" (32.3 per cent) and "newspapers/magazines" (28.7 per cent).
     With regard to the use of copyright works in the digital environment, 78.4 per cent of the respondents had not used unauthorised websites or streaming platforms to upload, download or play any infringing content in the past year. The major reasons cited were "convenient/can easily find the works/clear categorisation" for using authorised websites or streaming platforms (26.0 per cent), "worry about getting infected by computer virus from illegal websites" (22.9 per cent) and "comply with IP laws" (17.5 per cent). The relevant percentages were all significantly higher compared with previous survey results.
     In terms of the overall attitude towards IP rights protection, over 80 per cent of the respondents agreed that "it is morally wrong to buy pirated or counterfeit goods knowing that it is an infringement of IP rights" (84.1 per cent), and "it is morally wrong to upload, download or play content from unauthorised websites or streaming platforms knowing that it is an infringement of IP rights" (81.3 per cent). The percentages of respondents who agreed with these statements were similar to the survey results in 2020.
     "Over the years the IPD has made relentless efforts to raise the public awareness of IP rights protection at all levels through various educational and promotional programmes. It is encouraging to see that the awareness of IP rights and their protection remain high among the general public," Mr Wong said.
     To encourage the purchase of genuine goods, the "No Fakes Pledge" Scheme has been rolled out by the IPD alongside a number of retail and industry associations. "No Fakes" logos are displayed to help distinguish merchants that sell genuine goods. The survey revealed that 76.4 per cent of the respondents had heard of the Scheme, among which, most (74.5 per cent) considered the Scheme helpful in building confidence among consumers and tourists to shop in Hong Kong, and strengthened Hong Kong's reputation as a "shopping paradise".
     Similar surveys have been commissioned by the IPD regularly since 1999, with the previous round conducted in 2020. Report of the latest survey is available on the IPD's website (www.ipd.gov.hk/en/promotional-activities/surveys/survey-on-public-awareness/index.html).
Ends/Friday, March 31, 2023
Issued at HKT 17:30
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