IP TIPS and WATCH-OUTS in Indonesia

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indonesiaIn this blog post, we will provide you with all the basics you need to successfully protect your Intellectual Property Rights in Indonesia. Known for its diverse and rapidly growing market, Indonesia provides opportunities for many European SMEs interested to expand their business into South-East Asia. This blog post will give a concise overview of IP tips and watch-outs for Indonesia – enjoy.

General IP TIPS and WATCH-OUTS in Indonesia

  • Indonesia recognises ‘well–known’ trade marks (recognition of this is made on a case-by-case basis), but only to the extent that they may be used to prevent a third party from registering a similar trade mark, at least in theory. Often, ‘bad-faith’ registrations (intentionally registering someone else’s pre-existing IP) get registered by third parties and the rightful owner has to go through the expensive process of filing proceedings in the commercial court to cancel these bad-faith registrations.
  • When the need arises to enforce rights through the authorities, it is best that IP rights owners be aware of recent media coverage of corruption cases in Indonesia. The fact that corruption cases have been surfaced demonstrates the government’s efforts at cleaning up corruption cases; however it is still worth discussing a potential corruption risk with your attorney when enforcing your rights via the authorities.
  • Because IP rights enforcement in Indonesia can still be problematic, it is essential to register your rights there in order to stand a chance of defending them. Intellectual Property Rights are territorial in nature, which means that registrations in one country’s jurisdiction are not automatically enforceable in others, and therefore registrations in multiple countries may be necessary, particularly for businesses looking to internationalise. Indonesia operates under a ‘first-to file’ system, meaning that the first person to file an IP right in the Indonesian jurisdiction will own that right once the application is granted.

Continue reading “IP TIPS and WATCH-OUTS in Indonesia” »

IP Protection Strategies in the Philippines for the Logistics and Transportation Industry

Logistics3In today’s blog post we will discuss the IP protection in the Logistics and Transportation industry –  one of the fast-growing industries in the Philippines that is also expected to offer promising business opportunities to European SMEs whose top-notch technology is especially sought after. The blog post offers some practical tips on IP protection to keep in mind before entering the promising market of the Philippines. 

The logistics and transportation industry in the Philippines is growing steadily due to strong economic growth in the country and gradual increase in domestic demand fueled by the rise of the country’s middle class and increase in remittances from workers abroad. According to various studies, the industry is expected to grow as much as 16.7% by 2020.[1] Opportunities for logistics providers also continue to expand thanks to the steady growth in the Philippine’s e-commerce sector.

However, transportation costs in the Philippines are still significantly higher than in many other ASEAN countries, notably in Malaysia and Thailand. This is due to the geographic challenges that the Philippines faces as a conglomerate of islands, but also due to unclear regulations imposed by different government agencies that sometimes induce informal payments.[2] The transportation and logistics industry also faces some infrastructural challenges as the country still suffers from congestion on the roads in urban areas and at seaports. For example, clearance time for shipments at ports is more than twice as long in the Philippines than in many of its neighboring countries.

On the other hand, this year the Philippine government has put forward an ambitious plan of modernizing and improving the country’s infrastructure such as building new roads, railways, airports and improving the situation of seaports.  The government has also committed itself to improving the regulations and to fight corruption in transportation sector.[3] This means that the transportation and logistics industry would offer lucrative business opportunities for European SMEs in the near future.

European logistics and transportation SMEs wishing to enter the Philippines’ market need to keep in mind that despite the improvements in the Philippines’ IP laws and regulations, counterfeiting and other IP infringements are still commonplace in the country and thus a robust IP strategy is needed to grow their business in the Philippines. Continue reading “IP Protection Strategies in the Philippines for the Logistics and Transportation Industry” »

Using Customs to Fight Counterfeiting in Singapore: A Case Study

shutterstock_118547785The Customs can often work as the first line of defense, when companies are dealing with counterfeiters. However, not many SMEs are aware of the different cooperation opportunities with the customs. Thus, today’s blog post focuses on how the SMEs can use the customs in order to protect their IP in Singapore, one of the busiest ports in the  world. In order to give practical advice , the blog-post discusses a case-study on customs cooperation in Singapore. 

Singapore’s port is one of the world’s busiest ports and therefore a major transit point for imports and exports between Europe and Asia. EU exporters in a number of sectors have set up distribution centers in Singapore’s harbor from where they serve the wider region. As Singapore’s port is a major transport hub, it is also at high risk of shipments of counterfeits. To promote vigilance and bolster the safety and security of trade, the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (ESFTA) contains provisions to strengthen cooperation in the field of Customs. In particular, the ESFTA will facilitate the granting of assistance based on reasonable suspicion of an operation being in breach of customs legislation and will promote greater exchange of information between authorities.

European SMEs can liaise with Customs to fight against counterfeiting of their products. The Singapore Customs is a governmental agency of the Ministry of Finance and their objective is the implementation of customs and trade enforcement measures including the checking and detainment of suspected infringing goods crossing the border. The Singapore Customs has the authority to detain imports, exports and re-exports of IPR- infringing goods. Continue reading “Using Customs to Fight Counterfeiting in Singapore: A Case Study” »

Trade Marks in China: Q&A for the International Comparative Legal Guide to Trade Marks 2017

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For any EU SME operating in China, Trade Marks will be an important IP asset to have. So in order to meet any questions you might have, our China IPR SME Helpdesk expert Mr. Charles Feng from East & Concord Partners based in Beijing has kindly drafted for us a very useful and informative blog post on Trade Mark Protection in China. In this comprehensive Trade Mark guide, our Q&A with Mr. Feng will give you all the answers you need on Trade Mark protection in China. 

1          Relevant Authorities and Legislation

1.1       What is the relevant trade mark authority in your jurisdiction?

The Trademark Office (“TMO”), which is affiliated with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, is the authorised government agency in charge of trademark administration including examinations of trademark applications, oppositions as well as the cancellation of trademark registrations for three years of non-use.  The Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (“TRAB”) oversees the examination of various applications for appeals against the TMO’s decisions, as well as trademark invalidation matters.

In addition, local Administrations for Industry and Commerce (“AICs”) or Market Supervision Administrations (“MSAs”) are in charge of the administrative enforcement of trademark rights.

People’s Courts have jurisdiction over trials for trademark-related administrative or civil litigation.

1.2       What is the relevant trade mark legislation in your jurisdiction?

The most fundamental legislations include the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China (“PRC Trademark Law”), the Implementing Regulations of the PRC Trademark Law as well as multiple Judicial Interpretations related to trademark law which are issued by the Supreme People’s Court.

In addition, the Anti-Unfair Competition Law of PRC provides protection to unregistered marks such as distinctive names, packaging or decoration of famous goods.  The criminal code provides protection against counterfeiting activities where the illegal turnover exceeds a certain amount.

Continue reading “Trade Marks in China: Q&A for the International Comparative Legal Guide to Trade Marks 2017” »

IPR Protection in Indonesia for Contemporary Design Industry

shutterstock_385731427Since Indonesia’s design market and especially furniture design market offers interesting opportunities for European SMEs, 40 selected companies recently took part of the EU Gateway Business Avenues mission, where they met with local companies in Indonesia in early March 2017 to find business opportunities. As IP protection is the key to successful new business endeavors abroad, then in today’s blog post, we have chosen to discuss IP protection issues in the contemporary design industry in Indonesia. You will learn what you need to do in order to ensure that your product design is protected in Indonesia. 

Market Opportunities for European SMEs in Indonesia

Indonesia’s contemporary design industry holds great potential for European SMEs, supported by government’s initiatives of further developing the industry. Furniture sector is currently the backbone of Indonesia’s design industry as, boosted by high export demands, industrial production in Indonesia’s furniture industry has recorded high increase rate and profits gains over the past few years, a trend which will continue in 2017 and beyond, as Indonesia aims at becoming the dominant player in ASEAN’s furniture market[1].

Indonesia’s contemporary design market offers interesting business opportunities for European SMEs especially those engaged in the furniture and interior design sector, as the country can offer a competitive manufacturing base with relatively low labor costs and a wide availability of skilled carpenters and wood carvers. Furthermore, the country has vast resources of natural materials like teak, rattan or bamboo, attracting the attention of foreign investors.

The domestic market of Indonesia seems equally promising for imported European design products, especially products relating to interior design and home improvement as there is increasing demand for interior design services due to the booming domestic property sector, such as hotels, condotels, and restaurants. Moreover, the continued expansion of an affluent middle class in the country is driving the demand up for boutique producers of high-end contemporary furniture as well as niche sectors (i.e. leather furniture, European classic style pieces)[2]. Continue reading “IPR Protection in Indonesia for Contemporary Design Industry” »