Monday, September 26, 2011

Counterfeit personal care products in Bali, Indonesia

The island of Bali, Indonesia's tourist centre is more known for fake Ralph Lauren polo shirts and Quiksilver shorts than other kinds of counterfeiting, but Monday's Jakarta Post reports on the growth in illegal personal care products such as cosmetics. The Food And Drug monitoring agency (BPOM) has conducted a number of raids in recent months, mostly in the capital Denpasar, leading to seizures of MAC cosmetics and PONDS personal care products. Other products seized include unbranded unlicensed products as well as traditional herbal medicines called Jamu and also fake Cialis. Most of the products come from the East Java city of Surabaya say BPOM officials. Infringers are charged under the Health Law, for unlicensed distribution or distribution of dangerous substances. Infringers are not however punished in any meaningful way complains BPOM, upset at the failure of the court system to deter.

This approach to illegal personal care products is typical, where a country fails to deter IP violation effectively, authorities must fall back on the usually more serious improper distribution of controlled substances. BPOM are right to complain at the prosecution system's weaknesses; this is one of the key failings in the criminal system. As it's economy grows IP violation in Bali will also grow, unless courts change their approach.

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