In this annual Special 301 Report, nine countries including Argentina, Chile, China, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, and Venezuela were prioritized on the watch list due to ongoing challenges and concerns of an ineffective IP ecosystem. Indonesia has been a recurring member of the priority watch list since the beginning of this report in 1989.
The Special 301 Report noted that the lack of enforcement against IP theft and ineffective cooperation between government agencies and the private sector creates a large market for counterfeit goods and online piracy in this Southeast Asian country. Likewise, the report highlighted that Indonesia’s 2016 Patent Law creates a burden for innovators to “work” their patented inventions, while not fully protecting creators against unfair commercial use and unauthorized disclosure. The highly complex application process for trademark and registrations disincentives innovations and sways R&D investments to create better products than before.
In response to the Special 301 Report, Djatmiko Bris Witjaksono, the Directorate General of Trade Negotiations at the Trade Ministry, released in a statement that “To prevent ill-effects from Indonesia languishing on the priority watch list, we will intensify talks on intellectual property rights […] and push for Indonesia to be excluded from the list.” The Directorate General highlighted that although the US and Indonesia already have strong trade ties, there is always room to improve bilateral relations.