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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Attacking online advertising networks that support infringing websites

Image result for online advertising
Operation Creative is a UK initiative to disrupt infringing websites. It brings together the advertising industry and IP holders who identify and report IP infringing websites. Once verified, the site owner is contacted, and if they don’t act, then either the site may be suspended or if it cannot be then it is added to the Infringing Website List (IWL). The aim of the IWL is that advertisers, agencies and other intermediaries can voluntarily decide to cease advert placement on these illegal websites which in turn disrupts the sites’ advertising revenue.

The process has been rolled out in several other countries. The Hong Kong IWL was launched last Dec 2016. Recently they launched the same program in Vietnam and Malaysia last month. As of this month, their HK list only has 14 websites listed so far.

Now Indonesian industry, led by the the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) and a variety of local and international copyright holders have joined together to launch the same thing in Indonesia. Bekraf and local copyright organizations like Aprofi and Asiri would normally identify piracy websites and report them to the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to get them blocked.  The latest issue of MPA Asia-Pacific Reporter revealed that 260 copyright-infringing websites for films and television shows have been blocked since 2015. The number is higher for music, but it is not yet an effective measure to combat online piracy. It also doesn't solve repetitive infringers and doesn't deal with the underlying financial benefit from advertising revenues.

 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Indonesia's IP deployment and development


An interesting analysis of Indonesia’s IP position was put forward by in September. WIPO puts forward a classic developing market situation then applied it to Indonesia.  Their analysis is broadly as follows:

General emerging market theme
Indonesia position
Low patent filings at home; patents by non-residents
Indonesia’s patent landscape is dominated by foreign applicants
When R&D or IP occures it is dominated by public sector
LIPI and a few universities dominate, few private sector applicants (pharma company Dexa and Wirya Innovasi - digital tech developer are top local PCT patentees in 2015); Indonesia has a low base of domestic inventions.
Some reliance on utility models, designs
More local applicants, especially in designs (packaging and apparel dominate) – but still highest in SEA region
More reliant on trademarks, but mostly only national reach
Many trademarks are filed by local traders – a majority in fact (previous OECD research agreed on this); few foreign TMs filed
At times important notable copyright sector
Indonesia has a strong music and film industry; with strong copyright industry associations. 
Large portions of economy not using the IP system
Limited manufacturing base, historic commodity focus of the economy, limited technology development by private sector

Indonesia proposes to develop a National IP strategy - see here. A lot can be learnt from the above analysis on what to focus on.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fake cops in Manila

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The Philippines National Police are facing a problem of fake uniforms. Criminal have apparently been passing themselves off as police, especially by using fake badges and insignia. 
 
Now the PNP chief has issued a circular directing their units to take more care and control the circulation of uniforms, badges and the like. There is already an executive order from 2000 prohibiting the manufacture sale and distribution of fake police uniforms and badges. The military have also joined the debate issuing a statement last week too. Republic Act 493 prohibits civilians from wearing, using, manufacturing, and selling military uniforms, insignia, medals, and badges prescribed only for soldiers and policemen.  They also pointed out that the IP Code allows them to take action. 
 
At least they realise they can use the trademark and unfair competition laws to stop this (regardless of special regulations, circulars etc). After all they enforce the criminal aspects of these IP laws. Or maybe they are not confident in their own enforcement of the IP laws to protect their own IP!  


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Madrid is coming to Indonesia


On October 2, 2017 Indonesia deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol at WIPO.   Indonesia becomes the 100th member of Madrid. The Protocol is due to come into force after 3 months on 2 January 2018. A Draft Government Regulation on the application of Madrid to Indonesia’s trademark system has been drafted and will be signed by the President.
 
The TMO has been working for some time to prepare itself for Madrid following the trademark law amendments in November 2016. However there is still a backlog of about 10,000+ applications that have not been examined. The TMO has recruited another 20 new examiners this year. An increasing volume of marks are being published, so the race is on to catch up by year end to be ready for Madrid in early 2018.  

 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Myanmar's future IP office

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Myanmar’s proposal for the establishment its IP department is now becoming clearer. The government plans to set up an Intellectual Property Committee led by the Ministry of Education (which incorporates the old Ministry of Science and Technology), including various NGOs and experts as well as the Director General of the IP Department. The Committee’s function will be to set national IP policies and plans, review international IP agreements to consider acceding to and through various working groups perform various other IP related functions such as overseeing issues and taking action relating to IP infringement.

The IP Department (which sits under the Committee) functions will include government coordination, implementing the Committee’s policies and plans and reporting to the Committee, as well as liasing with overseas IP bodies, setting fees, running the IP registries, IP publication and other functions.

The Director General appoints the registrars and examiners for each IP registry. Each Registrar will run the application and registration processes, including granting IP rights and oppositions. The IPO will also have a IP Policy & Planning department as well as Education & Awareness, and the usual administrative functions.

New suggestions on the transition from the existing deposit system to the new system are being made now. It appears some form of re-filing will be needed, the precise scope and effect of which will be revealed in new regulations.
 




 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Indonesia starts on a national IP strategy

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Indonesia's IP Office has started formulating a Intellectual Property National Strategy. They ran a Focus Group Discussion attended by representatives of the IPO, other ministries and Indonesia's IP Attorneys Association (AKHKI) recently.  The Ministry of Law has established a team of National Expert. Their first activity is to conduct a study to review current national policies, as well as to identify the best way to align IP national strategy with other development priorities.

Many countries now use national IP strategies to help drive innovation. China started to do it a decade ago and several other SE Asian nations do the same thing including the Philippines and Vietnam.  A previous OCED study concluded that Indonesian trademark based industries are central to the economy. the International Trademarks Association has also published a study indicating the importance of trademark related industries to the local economies in the SEA region. Ecommerce is now proving a major new economic driver in Indonesia, with VC funded start ups turning into huge businesses. If the team of National Experts can draw all these elements together, many important Indonesian business sectors can benefit.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

SEA governments take on the Gods!

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Taiwan based games studio Digital Crafter and UK based games distributor PQube are running into problems with their online game Fight of Gods. The game is a deity-based brawlfest. Buddha, Odin, Zeus, Moses, and Jesus all duke it out to determine “who will lead us to enlightenment.” The game is distributed through PC gaming distribution platform Steam.

First the game got blocked in Malaysia, where the Malaysian government prevented all access to Steam for a day to force Steam to remove access to Fight of Gods. Steam has now geo-blocked the game in Malaysia. Indonesia’s IT Ministry has now issued a warning to Steam to remove it too. A  geo block has been requested within 48 hours, according to Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, director general of Information Application at the IT Ministry. The grounds are that the game might inflame religious tensions.

Of course these bans are bringing more attention to the game and driving up its popularity.