As of 2023, Indonesia is still on the Priority Watch List due to the difficulties faced by U.S. right holders in obtaining adequate protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP), as well as fair market access. According to the report, there is still rampant piracy and counterfeiting, with concerns persisting regarding the enforcement of IP rights. This includes insufficient penalties for infringement and ineffective border enforcement. Stakeholders have raised concerns about Indonesia’s Copyright Law and are pushing for revisions, while online piracy and unlicensed software usage remain problematic. The Directorate General for Customs and Excise, according to the report, has limited effectiveness due to a recordation system with only a few trademarks and copyrights, and foreign right holders face barriers in benefiting from the system.
Additionally, there are concerns about Indonesia’s law on geographical indications and patent law, which raise questions about pre-existing trademark rights and patentability criteria, respectively. There is no effective system to protect against the unfair commercial use of undisclosed test or other data for marketing approval for pharmaceutical and agricultural chemical products.
Market access barriers in Indonesia are also a concern, including regulations that limit foreign participation in the film sector. Although there has been some progress in addressing these issues, significant challenges remain. In 2022, Indonesia expanded its IP Enforcement Task Force to improve coordination on enforcement, but the United States encourages Indonesia to use the task force to enhance cooperation among relevant agencies and to pursue larger cases against criminal organizations involved in counterfeiting and piracy.
Recently, Indonesia revoked the Omnibus Law on Job Creation, which had removed requirements for patents to be worked in Indonesia, and replaced it with new regulation. However, the United States, through the report, encourages Indonesia to undertake a more comprehensive amendment to the 2016 Patent Law and other legislation, and to provide affected stakeholders with meaningful input opportunities.
Nevertheless, from the Indonesian perspective, we ought to see more changes and improvements, albeit at times they are incremental. Strong and robust laws and regulations will reassure the right holders, regardless of their nationalities, to invest more (as well as protecting their IP) in Indonesia.