Indonesia builds IP protection ecosystem to combat piracy and counterfeit products

The Law and Human Rights Ministry’s intellectual property director general, Freddy Harris, speaking to reporters in his office in Jakarta. - Jakarta Post/ANN

JAKARTA, Oct 3 (Jakarta Post/ANN): Indonesia is striving to develop an efficient and effectively enforced intellectual property (IP) ecosystem to stop rampant piracy and counterfeit products, with a view to attract investments from the United States and European countries.

Developing an IP ecosystem includes improving a regulatory framework, networking, establishing an IP task force, providing training for investigators, IP awareness-raising campaigns and enforcement against IP infringements.

The government’s move is a response to the issuance of the 2021 Priority Watch List (PWL) by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Indonesia is on the PWL due to widespread piracy and counterfeiting and, in particular, the lack of enforcement against counterfeit products.

While noting that Indonesia has a renewed commitment to IP protection and enforcement, Intellectual Property Rights Director General Freddy Harris said efforts were underway to adjust every regulation to common or universal best practices. As an example, he cited an amendment to Article 20 of the 2016 Patent Law with the issuance of the Job Creation Law.

Article 20 of the Patent Law stipulated that the patent holder has to manufacture its products or process them in Indonesia, which would require technology transfers, investment and/or creating new jobs.

However, it has been removed from the omnibus law on job creation.

“The article considered discriminatory by the USTR has been amended. Instead, they [foreign companies] only need to obtain licenses for operating their business and developing their products,” Freddy said in a zoom interview.

“Other regulations are under review to make them more investment and business-friendly.”

He highlighted the importance of networking by involving relevant stakeholders in tackling IP infringements, which includes preventive measures.

Apart from collaborating with the USTR, the Intellectual Property Rights Directorate General has also teamed up with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — the first of such a collaboration between the two institutions.

The FBI is working with the National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) to investigate the sale of piracy and counterfeit at physical marketplaces and online marketplaces, as they have data on the United States’ industries. “We build a massive network.

FBI is very influential in the United States and we want to let them [US stakeholders] know that we have sincerely taken concrete actions.

We ask them to visit malls with us for investigation purposes,” he said.

The Intellectual Property Rights Directorate General has also established an IP task force to replace the previous one, which was inactive. Officially launched in early September, the revised IP task force also involves Bareskrim, the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM), Communications and Information Ministry and the Customs and Excise Directorate General.

The IP Taskforce is partly aimed at bolstering Indonesia’s status as an investment-friendly destination with respect to adequate and effective IP protection and enforcement. - Jakarta Post/ANN

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