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Hong Kong Government Seeks To Raise IP Awareness In Business Community

by Mary Swire, for, Hong Kong

25 October 2006

The Hong Kong Government announced on Monday that it has commissioned an independent Software Asset Management (SAM) contractor to provide free consultancy services to the business community in order to facilitate better management of their software assets.

Speaking at a ceremony to launch the Business Software Certification Programme and the Reward Scheme to Combat Illegal Use of Software in Business on Monday, Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Joseph Wong explained that these programmes aimed to raise awareness of and respect for intellectual property rights (IPR) among the business community.

Introducing the certification programme, Mr Wong said about 30,000 organisations would be approached to promote the fact that proper management of software assets will help them to save on operational costs and strengthen their computer security.

"The SAM contractor will provide free on-site software audit and professional SAM consultancy services to those participating organisations. It will also assist the participating organisations in checking if there is any inadvertent use of unlicensed software within the organisations, and formulating appropriate procedure and guidelines on the use of genuine software," Mr Wong revealed.

The certification programme is a pilot scheme, and the Government will review its efficacy to decide on the way forward.

Mr Wong also said that the Government would continue to strictly enforce the law, in order to clamp down on companies knowingly using pirated software in business, and urged these companies to stop using pirated software.

"I appeal to the business community to join with us in promoting the protection of IPR to create a more favourable business and investment environment."

The certification programme was jointly organised by the Intellectual Property Department and the Business Software Alliance. Organisations that are found in full compliance of the programme will be commended with a certificate issued by the organisers.

Acting Director of Intellectual Property, Mr Peter Cheung explained that:

"We hope that participation in the certification programme will bring not only a sense of pride in using genuine software, but also boost organisations' efficiency and thus, enhancing their competitive edge in the long run. "

In addition, the 'Reward Scheme to Combat the Use of Pirated Software in Business' will increase the maximum reward from HK$5,000 to HK$30,000 to encourage the community to report incidents of software piracy in the business workplace.

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