Mr Eric Thai, General Manager of LEWIS Communications Shanghai, presented the IP survey results to a cross- industry audience.
The survey – thought to be the first of its kind – sought the opinions of top executives at approximately 800 textile enterprises across China, including regions such as the Yangtze River and Pearl River Deltas where the industry is highly developed.
Ms. Jean Hegedus, The LYCRA Company’s Global Business Director for Denim & Wovens outlined the importance of IP protection for patents and innovation
- Geographic differences in IP awareness: Overall, 81.5% of the respondents believed that IP protection is important. However, awareness of the issues varies considerably according to the level of infrastructure development. It is notably stronger in cities and urban areas.
Downstream focus on IP protection: Over three quarters – 75.85% – of those surveyed thought that garment brands and retailers are most affected by lack of IP protection. More than half – 55.4% – believed that infringements at this level of the value chain are harmful to consumers and should be the focus of efforts to improve protection.
Lack IP awareness leads to lack of action: Less than half of the respondents – 45.2% – will routinely inform IP owners if they suspect IP infringements and even fewer would report it to government authorities. The lack of action generally corresponds to lack awareness of the importance of IP protection.
- Reasons for inadequate IP protection: According to the survey, this lack of awareness together with legal weaknesses, insufficient regulation and government supervision, and accidental infringement caused by lack of access to information are the top five contributors to inadequate IP protection.
- Identifying genuine products: 78.1% of respondents believed that trademark identification is the most important guide to legitimate use of IP in products or services. 65.3% of respondents would check supplier websites if they had doubts, and 64% would make direct contact with manufacturers.
- Joint efforts needed to improve levels of protection: Improving levels of IP protection is a shared responsibility: government, IP owners and manufacturers in value chain all have a part to play. The majority of survey respondents called for a stricter regulatory environment, stiffer punishment of transgressions, and stronger self-protection efforts by IP owners as the way to reduce infringement and encourage investment in innovation.
The LYCRA Company’s value for IP protection is obvious. We invest to develop breakthrough products such as LYCRA® dualFX®, LYCRA® FUSION™ and LYCRA® T400® technologies that create new market opportunities for our industry partners and bring new benefits to consumers.
We commissioned the research to help Chinese textile enterprises understand that IP awareness and protection is in everyone’s interests. We will continue to innovate, working with Asian value-chain partners who respect IP rights, protect their interests as well as our own – and ultimately those of consumers.
LYCRA®, LYCRA® dualFX®, LYCRA® FUSION™ and LYCRA® T400® are trademarks of The LYCRA Company.