IP Protection in the Food and Beverages Sector in Indonesia

The food and beverage (F&B) industry includes the research and development, processing, production, wholesale and distribution, including branding and retailing, of a wide range of food and beverage products.

Recent research by the EU SME Centre suggests that European SMEs are increasingly expanding their business abroad, and are making significant investments in product development, pricing and growth strategies in emerging markets.

Rapid economic growth in South-East Asia is creating a burgeoning market for imported F&B products. Indonesia, for instance, accounts for one third of the region’s GDP and has the fifth largest fresh food market in the world. The turnover in Indonesia’s processed F&B industry grew by 4 to 5 percent in the first quarter of 2015 from the same period last year.

While opportunities for EU SMEs in Indonesia’s F&B industry are promising – the country is demanding more ‘Westernised’ products – it should also be noted that the majority of the Indonesian population is Muslim. This means that all slaughtered food must possess halal certification and adhere to specific labelling requirements. Additionally, importers should be aware of regulations related to alcohol.

Apart from paying attention to Indonesia’s F&B regulations, EU SMEs should also take steps to ensure that their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are protected. There are several types of IPR that are relevant to the F&B industry, including packaging.
Creative packaging styles are developed to distinguish the external look of different products. Despite its commercial significance, the importance of packaging is often underestimated, as is the importance of protecting design aspects of products to prevent counterfeiting and replication.

Packaging elements can be registered as trademarks, design patents or copyright; although, it is expected that 3D trademarks will be included in the new Trademark Law, which will be passed this year. 3D trademarks are another way to protect product packaging. Other forms of IPR which are relevant to the F&B industry are trade secrets.

One can read more about IP protection in Indonesia’s F&B sector by viewing the MBB website: www.mbb.org.mt

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