In Indonesia, massive e-commerce industry growth has not occurred without side effects. Amongst them is the significant increase in online infringements. Indeed the platforms, used as online marketplaces by sellers and buyers for trading activities, may become useful tools to propose illegal products and services such as weapons, prohibited drugs, hacking services, etc.

In order to remedy this situation, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (“MOCI”) has recently issued a new Circular Letter (Circular Letter No. 5 of 30 December 2016) which gives new obligations and responsibilities to the platform operators, either as providers or as merchants. Indeed the Circular Letter, entitled Limitations and Responsibilities of Platform Providers and Merchants Who Engage in Electronic Commerce While Utilizing User-Generated-Content Platforms, prohibits specific types of content from being posted on the platform and makes the platform operators responsible in case of complaints related to these contents.

Among these prohibited contents are the “Materials that infringe other parties’ intellectual property rights”. Therefore, the Circular Letter introduces criminal sanctions provided under the EIT Law for the operators who infringe or make possible the infringement of Intellectual Property rights, for instance when a merchant offers counterfeit goods or when a provider fails to evaluate and monitor merchants’ activities or refuses to delete the prohibited contents after receiving complaints.

Therefore, the Circular Letter No.5 should help intellectual property holders to take action while reducing the expansion of the counterfeit goods market.