Monday, October 15, 2012

US pressure on Indonesia to improve IPR protection

In late 2011 the IIPA, the US copyright industries umbrella group filed a petition on behalf of its 7 association members against various governments to review the General System of Preferences. The GSP is a system to lower customs tariffs on certain imports into the US.

One petition filed against Indonesia threatens a billion dollars of tariff reductions, on the basis of Indonesia's poor IPR protection regime. The US Government is only allowed to give GSP preferential treatment to countries that provide sufficient protections including for IPRs. 

The petition was accepted on July 2nd and the first hearing took place on October 2nd.  The petition claims that piracy levels are too high and focuses mainly on copyright issues, especially online.  But other interested groups can file cases, following the Federal Register notice.

Indonesia will no doubt defend its practices but there is a real financial impact if it's government are unable to demonstrate that the IPR system works.

Meanwhile on a different tack completely, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia has launched a competition to  award two $5,000 grants to winners of the  Intellectual Property (IP) App Challenge. The IP App Challenge targets app developers to develop mobile apps on IP protection and enforcement in Indonesia. It is a much more creative way of engaging with the local software industry and students to promote the benefits of IP protection, which at times appear to be lost on the government.

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