HONG KONG: The Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) held a graduation ceremony today (August 25) at the Customs and Excise Training School for its first Advanced Course of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Badge Programme organised under the Youth Ambassador Against Internet Piracy Scheme (YAS). A total of 36 Youth Ambassadors were awarded the Certificate for Completing the Advanced Course of the IPR Badge Programme for Youth Ambassador and became qualified for proceeding to the Trainer Course, which is the highest level course of the Programme.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Acting Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Lin Shun-yin, noted that as one of the major trade and commercial hubs in the world, Hong Kong attaches great importance to the protection of the creative industry and IPR. “Stringent law enforcement and public support are necessary in order to eliminate infringing activities,” Mr Lin said. “In the long term, we must work to promote public awareness through means of education, especially among youth, to respect and protect IPR,” Mr Lin said. He further noted that the C&ED launched the Programme last year with an aim of encouraging young people through diversified training courses to actively protect IPR and set an example for their families and peers in daily life. The five-day advanced training course which the 36 Youth Ambassadors have just completed was rich in content. Apart from being able to interact with veteran film workers and get to know the impacts of infringing activities on the film industry, they also had a good opportunity to enter creators’ inner world by receiving mobile app design training at the City University of Hong Kong.
The Programme also included a visit to the Correctional Services Department’s facilities, study of IPR violation cases and a mock-up trial competition under the guidance of counsels of the Department of Justice, as well as physical and leadership training courses at the Customs and Excise Training School. Apart from the course completion certificates, the Best Teamwork Award and the Best Performance Award were also presented to the winning teams and individuals in the mock-up trial competition. Other prizes, namely the Best Recruit Award, the Best Team Spirit Award and the Best Leadership Award, were also given at the ceremony. The Director of Intellectual Property, Ms Ada Leung, and the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Martin Hui, SC, joined Mr Lin to officiate at the graduation ceremony. The YAS has been jointly carried out by the C&ED and the intellectual property industry since 2006. Its membership includes more than 250 000 members from 13 local youth uniformed groups whose ages range between 9 and 25. Last year, the C&ED introduced the IPR Badge Programme under which a Foundation Course, an Advanced Course and a Trainer Course are offered in phases with an aim of strengthening awareness among youths on respecting and protecting IPR in a systematic approach.