Protecting Intellectual Property Rights

AmCham hosts IPR meeting with USTR’s Daniel Lee

By Karmila Bain
Friday, March 10, 2017

AmCham’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Committee recently hosted a meeting with Daniel Lee from the office of US Trade Representative (USTR) where he works on innovation and intellectual property issues. The objective of the meeting was for the USTR to gather input from US businesses in Indonesia as well as provide information on the USTR’s work on IPR.   

Lee and his team met with leaders from Qualcomm, Mead Johnson, MSD, Uber and other American businesses in Indonesia, who raised on-going issues for each company as well as the impact of the new Patent Law on technology and pharmaceutical companies such as compulsory licenses, trademark issues, prohibition of marketing for infant milk products and parallel importation.

Lee provided an update on the USTR’s Special 301 report, which reflects the outcome of a Congressional-mandated annual review of the state of intellectual property rights protection and enforcement in countries around the world and the impact on US companies.

The USTR collects stakeholder and foreign government input for the report, including from the Indonesian government. From there it goes through an inter-agency process with the State Department, and Commerce Department and other agencies to figure out the most pressing problems each country faces and how to deal with them.

In the report, the USTR categorizes countries into watch list or priority watch list. Priority watch list refers to countries that are deemed to have "serious intellectual property rights deficiencies" that require increased USTR attention, while members of the watch list are in danger of moving to the priority watch list. If a country is on neither of these lists, it is doing pretty good regarding IPR performance.

Unfortunately, Indonesia has been on the priority watch list for a number of years and the USTR is work with the government and other stakeholders on ways for it to come off the list. But it’s not an easy task, and the USTR has been working to tackle such issues as copyright infringement. The recent Patent Law is seen as a step in the right direction.

The IPR committee believes that the USTR visit to Indonesia was very helpful for AmCham Indonesia, and other stakeholders for ongoing advocacy work on the subject and the launch of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global IP Index 2017.

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