To underline the commitment of intellectual property protection, the government established the Intellectual Property Department on 2 July 1990. The Intellectual Property Department is responsible for advising the government bureaux and departments on policies and legislation relating to the protection of intellectual property in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR); for operating the Hong Kong SAR's Trade Marks, Patents and Registered Designs Registries, and for promoting intellectual property protection through public education.
The Customs and Excise Department is responsible for enforcing the criminal aspects of infringement of intellectual property rights. It investigates complaints alleging infringement of trade marks and copyright and complaints alleging false trade descriptions. The department has extensive power of search and seizure, and cooperates with overseas enforcement authorities and owners of trade marks and copyright in a concerted effort to combat infringement of intellectual property rights. The department has received many commendations for its work from both public and private institutions.