Standing together to promote HK as shopping paradise for genuine goods

11 Dec 2004

The Deputy Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Lawrence Wong Sau-pui, appealed to all members of the public and traders to lend continuing support to upholding Hong Kong's status as the prime shopping destination for genuine goods.

Officiating at the opening ceremony of the "Hong Kong ?The Real Experience" Carnival at the Kowloon Park today (December 11), Mr Wong said, "We will certainly win the war against infringers and maintain our good reputation of 'Hong Kong ?The Real Experience' if the intellectual property rights (IPR) industry, community personalities, the public and the law enforcement agencies join hands to combat IPR crimes.?Jointly organised by the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED), Intellectual Property Department (IPD) and Yau Tsim Mong District Civic Education Campaign Committee, the Carnival aimed at publicising to the tourists and local shoppers that Hong Kong is a "Shopping Paradise for Genuine Goods". It mainly covered a music request programme and a game booth design competition involving youngsters and students.

To illustrate the positive impact of a united front in the community, Mr Wong elaborated on the effectiveness of the "Intellectual Property Rights Protection Alliance" (IPRPA) formed by C&ED in collaboration with IPR industry in March this year.

"Through this platform of co-operation, C&ED and the IPR industry can monitor and crack down on the remnants of the infringing activities much more effectively," Mr Wong said.

In the eight months after the establishment of IPRPA, Hong Kong Customs officers had cracked nearly 760 IPR infringing cases, resulting in the arrest of 836 persons and the seizure of goods amounting to $80 million, as a result of closer co-operation and speedier communication on trade mark identifications with the IPR industry players.

Aside from law enforcement, Mr Wong underlined the importance of public support. "Infringing activities cannot be eradicated by taking vigorous enforcement actions alone. If there is still a market demand for pirated goods and goods with counterfeit trade marks, these dying illegal activities will be revitalised.

"Therefore, we need the full support of the public for their respect for IPR, as well as their resolved refusal in purchasing and using pirated and counterfeit goods," Mr Wong reiterated.

Meanwhile, Mr Wong said that in order to further improve the legislative regime for the protection of intellectual property rights and help promote the development of creative industries, the Government issued a consultation document on the review of certain provisions of the Copyright Ordinance on December 9. He hoped that all sectors of the community and members of the public would actively respond to it and provide their views on the issues covered in the consultation document.

Also officiating at the ceremony were the Director of Intellectual Property, Mr Stephen Selby; and the Chairman of 2004-2005 Yau Tsim Mong District Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, Mr Edward Leung Wai-kuen. They were accompanied by the Chairman of Joint Meeting with the Organisers of Hong Kong ?The Real Experience Carnival, Mr Chung Kong-mo.

The District Officer (Yau Tsim Mong), Mr Augustine Choi; District Commander of the Yau Tsim District of Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF), Mr Kelvin Michael Woods; District Commander of the Mong Kok District of HKPF, Mr Cheuk Chun-yin; Acting Chief Executive of the Consumer Council, Ms Connie Lau; Deputy Executive Director of the Tourism Board, Mrs Grace Lee; Deputy Chairman of the Travel Industry Council, Mr Ken Chang; and Chairman of Yau Tsim Mong District Fight Crime Committee, Mr Ip Kwok-chung, were also officiating guests.

End/Saturday, December 11, 2004

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