A recently released report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) evaluated 25 countries, including Indonesia, on the current state of their respective intellectual property (IP) environments, finding numerous opportunities for improvement on a wide variety of IP issues among the countries considered.

Entitled Charting the Course, the 148-page report seeks to provide “an updated roadmap for economies seeking to create jobs, promote innovation, ensure safety, and provide access to the creations and inventions of the 21st century” by using 30 indicators across six separate categories to provide a snapshot as to where these countries currently stand vis-à-vis intellectual property and how they “can move towards an innovative and knowledge-based economy.”  

Of the 25 countries evaluated, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Singapore ranked the highest. Indonesia placed 22nd overall, ranking ahead of Vietnam, Thailand and India, respectively. One of only five lower-to-middle income countries included in the report, Indonesia scored highest with respect to trademarks and enforcement matters, while scoring poorly on its patent and copyright regimes.

The GIPC report, which was released on January 29, 2014, provides plenty of food for thought for Indonesian policymakers to consider, especially since almost all of Indonesia’s intellectual property laws are currently under revision. Notably, the report found that, based upon statistics from the Business Software Alliance (BSA), Indonesia had the highest rate of software piracy among the countries considered, with a software piracy rate of 86%. Uncertainty regarding patentability of computer-implemented inventions and limited protection for unregistered trademarks were identified as two additional areas of weakness.

With respect to areas of strength, the report noted that Indonesia has in place basic yet workable frameworks for patents, trademarks and enforcement of copyright infringement.

While the GIPC report does not provide specific recommendations to improve Indonesia’s IP environment, it does state that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “has the ability to set the gold standard in the Pacific region, and for the world, on protecting and enforcing IP.” Indonesia has previously expressed interest in potentially joining the TPP, which is currently being negotiated among 12 countries bordering the Pacific Ocean, and would establish so-called TRIPS-plus standards for IP protection and enforcement.