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Friday, November 21, 2014

State of enforcement and the new Indonesian government

The new government seems to be setting new IP policies. Apparently there is a plan to increase the size of IP industries in the Indonesian economy up from 2% to 6% of GDP. Consequently the head of the IP Office announced this week that they will introduce new IPR enforcement measures in 2015.  This will include increased efforts to combat IP violation as well as increased sentences, more arrests and sanctions against landlords allowing fakes to be sold on their properties.

He referred in his announcement to copyright and a close reading of the comments suggests he is referring to the copyright law amendments passed under the last government.

The key is not new laws however it is practical enforcement. Until the police conduct raids  regularly without corruption, until the PPNS can build a bigger team that can conduct fast effective raids, until cases are passed to prosecutors for criminal prosecutions, then Indonesia will remain an enforcement laggard.

Some recent Police statistics show the conducted very few IP cases in recent years:



No.

Intellectual Property Cases

Year

2012

2013

2014

1

Copyright

109

188

60

2

Patent

-

5

1

3

Trademark

96

64

35

4

Industrial Design

1

9

2

5

Trade Secret

1

-

-

Total

207

266

98

There are specific numbers broken out for DVD work for the copyright industries. Much will be software.


No.

Optical Disc (Copyright) Cases

Year

2012

2013

2014

1

Optical disc cases

87

137

23

2

Optical discs seized

388.381 pcs

321.185 pcs

90.985 pcs

3

Duplication equipment seized

13

21

11

The IPO investigation team’s cases were as follows.



No.

Intellectual Property Cases

Year

2012

2013

2014

1

Copyright

6

4

2

2

Patent

2

-

1

3

Trademark

23

15

6

4

Industrial Design

6

6

-

Total

37

19

9

Overall this shows a very low level of IP enforcement activity. By comparison in the Philippines and Thailand thousands of IP violation cases per year are brought. Indonesia’s cases are in the low few hundreds.
 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Vietnam's agricultural sector needs more IP



Only 10 % of Vietnamese farm produce has IP protection, a new report says. Data from the the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) shows that only 10% Vietnamese farm products have trademarks registered.  They identified 1,000 farm products, for which they noted that there were 59 collective marks, 12 certification marks and 24 geographical indications registered. Very few overseas registrations are made too.

This is reflective of both Vietnam's IP development stage and a sectoral weakness. An imbalance is also why developing countries see IP as mainly for western companies. IP Komodo would like to see more partnerships with international IP holders to assist local business in their sector.




Friday, November 7, 2014

WIPO automation systems adoption in SE Asia



 

Indonesia's automation program for its IP office continues. The adoption of WIPO's IPAS software is going ahead. IPAS is designed for smaller IP offices to help the automation of trademark, designs and patent processes. WIPO also provides an e-filing software system for small to medium sized IP offices and Indonesia has been selected to be the test offices for e-filing for trademarks, designs and patents.

Elsewhere in S.E. Asia, the WIPO CASE system is being adopted. CASE is a platform to provide search and examination data for patent offices to share. Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam are already using it and WIPO hopes to provide the system to all ASEAN offices in future.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Vietnam resolves conflicting domain name rules


Vietnam's domain name recovery system has numerous barriers. So far the civil court system has been the main way to recover cybersquatted DNs - see here. Amway, the US direct marketing business sued recently to recover a domain name Amway.2u.vn recently. Amway trades in Vietnam through Amway2u.com.vn and owns trademarks so was in theory in a strong position against the cybersquatter. 
 
The real issue was not the substantive cybersquatting case but, as is common in Vietnam, the often conflicting bureaucratic rules on how to get something done. The decision was issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), which hears administrative DN disputes. Their order would then be need to be executed by the National Domain Name operator VNNIC and the registrar thereunder. 
 
The problem was that VNNIC had for some years refused to execute administrative decisions, because their own parent Ministry of Information and Communications’ rules required a court decision, and a MOST administrative decision therefore did not satisfy this.
 
The Amway2U.vn case sparked a series of ministerial meetings which led to the Ministry of Information and Communications having to accept that MOST did have the requisite authority to adjudicate domain name cases under MOST’s regulations and so the domain name should be transferred.  
 
Vietnam frequently suffers from conflicting internal policies and regulations. It makes enforcement time consuming and expensive for rights holders. The government’s usual MO is to issue rules but not consider what earlier rules need to be repealed or amended. IP holders face a higher cost of doing business in such an environment. At least in this case a conflict was resolved and now there is a real prospect of effective administrative domain name resolutions.