Indonesia Remains in The USTR’s Priority Watch List

May 07, 2024

Jakarta: The United States Trade Representative (USTR) have recently released the special report 301/2024 concerning the effectiveness of protection the enforcement of Intellectual Property law for United States trade partners in the world.

In the report, seven countries are listed under the priority watch list (PWL) registry, with Indonesia being one of them. Other than Indonesia, USTR have also deemed Argentina, Chile, China, India, Russia, and Venezuela to be countries that are having difficulties in protection and enforcement of intellectual properties, thus leading to limited market access.

In the South-East Asia region, countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Brunei were also once registered under the PWL by the USTR. Indonesia unfortunately, have remained in the list for the past twelve years.

Indonesia continues to struggle, and although the Indonesian Government have put in an incredible amount of effort in the law enforcement side to improve the intellectual property law system in Indonesia, Indonesia remains to be still under the PWL. Raids and seizures of circulation of goods that infringe intellectual properties have frequently been conducted, however these efforts are still not considered sufficient by USTR to remove Indonesia from the priority watch list.

A recent example of raids that conducted in Indonesia occurred in October 2023 where, the Directorate General of Intellectual Property as well as law enforcement authorities in Indonesia have cooperated with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (ICHIP) Attorney Advisor for Asia of the US Department of Justice, and the Korean law enforcement authorities to arrest IP infringers in Indonesia. The copyright infringers utilized an internet protocol television (IPTV) service to stream illegal broadcast of several Korean television channels. During the raid, the streaming servers were seized, along with the streaming equipment. This action combined with other efforts, was seems rather limited and too small to satisfy the cause the removal of Indonesia from the USTR watch list.

The removal of Indonesia from the PWL status is very important to be able to attract more investors to be interested in Indonesia. The USTR assesses that there are still many challenges to elevate Indonesia to be a country that strictly adheres to international standards and have Indonesia become a country that is trustworthy, and the atmosphere of business fulfils the comfort of other countries in doing business in the country.

In regard to the interest and demands of intellectual property rights in the United States, an adequate and effective enforcement of intellectual property rights, is highly required for equitable market access. According to USTR, the fact that infringing and counterfeiting activities continues to be widespread in Indonesia, and it is a serious concern that the limited enforcement against infringer of intellectual property rights violations, has led to the insufficient effect of deterrence to protect the needs of the intellectual property rightsholder’s’. Furthermore, the United States continues to encourage Indonesia in support of the existing agreements for bilateral Intellectual Property Rights Cooperation, and plan for continued engagement with Indonesia under the United States-Indonesia Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA) to address these issues. (JP/MGK - su)


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