The Roots of Innovation

AmCham Indonesia and US Chamber host launch of 2017 IP Index

By Tellisa Ramadhani
Friday, March 10, 2017

Intellectual property (IP) protection is a proven driver for innovation and also a safety net for investors. In an era of rapid technological innovation, Indonesia and many other countries need to improve their laws on intellectual property rights to attract knowledge-economy companies and nurture their growing domestic economies. With this in mind, the US Chamber of Commerce launched its fifth annual International IP Index – an analysis of intellectual property protection in 45 countries.

The report, The Roots of Innovation, was unveiled in Jakarta on February 10, co-sponsored by AmCham Indonesia and the US Chamber. The report was prepared by the US Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC), and the launch event was part of the AmCham-US Chamber Innovation Mission, a series of meetings with stakeholders from both the business and regulatory sides, focusing on the new Patent Law. It also marked the beginning of the 2017 US-Indonesia Investment Initiative (USIII), an annual joint program to bring together US companies with the Indonesian government to enhance the investment climate.

Tami Overby, Senior Vice President for Asia at the US Chamber, opened the event with remarks on the report and officiated over the launch of USIII 2017. She was followed by Patrick Kilbride, Executive Director of the GIPC, who formally presented the 2017 IP Index report.

The IP Index is based on six categories: patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and market access, enforcement, and international treaties. Indonesia ranks 39 out of 45 countries and faces more challenges than in previous years, largely due to the new Patent Law, which may have a negative impact on pharmaceutical companies as it appears to be targeting the industry.

Indonesia did score plus points for the new Trademark and Geographical Indication Law, which strengthens existing criminal sanctions for trademark infringements. Kilbride also spoke of how he positively views the growth of the creative economy in Indonesia, which is one of the nation’s fastest growing industries.

This was followed by remarks from Patricia M Haslach, Acting US Assistant Secretary of State for economic affairs, who spoke of how protecting IP rights was part of developing a successful creative economy.

“When a country says ‘we want our own Silicon Valley,’ part of what they need to create is their own innovation ecosystems. Part of that is good IPR [intellectual property rights] laws, a strong enforcement regime and bankruptcy laws that allow companies to recover and restart.”

Indonesian Minister of Law and Human Rights, Yasonna Laoly, then gave his views on IP rights in Indonesia, and spoke of how he hoped the USIII would be a great forum for the two countries to exchange views to enhance their economic relationship. He noted how Indonesia, as a developing country, needs to learn a lot from developed countries like the US, to help make innovation and the creative economy an engine of economic growth.

He agreed that intellectual property protection would have the closest correlation to the development of innovation. Indonesia’s economy still relies heavily on the mining sector, but with the current uncertainty in the industry, Indonesia realizes the urgency to prioritize policy that will benefit intellectual property.

The launch was concluded with remarks from Brian Arnold, President of AmCham Indonesia, who spoke of his optimism at what the US-Indonesia Investment Initiative 2017 would bring.

After the official launch of the report, the attendees continued networking during a cocktail reception.

Around 100 people attended the event, including from the US State Department, US economic officers from Asia Pacific, USIII member companies, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), the Indonesian Employers Association (APINDO), and Indonesian government officials whose work is closely related to IP, including from the Directorate General of IP Rights at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, the foreign affairs and health ministries, and the Creative Economy Agency (BEKRAF).

The full report can be found here: www.uschamber.com/ipindex

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