Justice Ministry (Japan) to Help Indonesia
Toughen Intellectual Property Laws
The Yomiuri Shimbun
October 24, 2015
The Justice Ministry of Japan will begin to provide support for Indonesia to help the country improve systems to protect intellectual property, according to sources.
In response to a request from the country, the ministry will send its officials who were court judges or other legal professionals to the country for about five years starting this fiscal year, the sources said.
It is the first time that the ministry will offer assistance for other countries with the aim of protecting intellectual property.
The ministry aims to improve Indonesia’s legal systems and regulations on trademarks, and help it crack down on pirated products and other issues to the same level as seen in advanced countries, so that Japanese companies will invest more in the country.
Indonesia’s population is about 250 million and the country is expected to achieve economic growth in the future. But businesses are said to find the country’s intellectual property protections wanting.
According to a report of the Japan External Trade Organization, logos that closely resemble those of the Japanese izakaya chains Shirokiya and Warawara are registered as trademarks in Indonesia. The izakaya chains are operated by Monteroza Co.
There have been cases in Indonesia where these kinds of problems developed into lawsuits.
Though Monteroza’s logos were widely recognized in other Asian countries, sources said that Indonesia’s Supreme Court in 2013 turned down a demand that the trademark registrations for the similar logos should be nullified.
There was a case in which pirated motorbikes similar to those of Honda Motor Co. caused problems.
Indonesia made rules in 2012 to prohibit imports of fake and pirated products. But the sources said that because conditions for applying for the ban are too strict, there has been no case in which the prohibition has been imposed.
Justice Ministry officials to be sent to Indonesia will examine the country’s legal systems and court precedents, and train local court judges, who are said to widely differ in levels of expertise for handing down rulings.
If the country’s laws have defects, the officials will encourage the Indonesian government to revise them.
A senior ministry official said: “Protection of intellectual property is a foundation for corporate activities. If the country’s legal systems are improved, it will be easier to receive investments. It will be beneficial for both countries.”