Thursday, 17 October 2013

Gucci is awarded $144.2 million in damages after winning a lawsuit filed against online counterfeiters

Gucci America Inc has won a lawsuit against several organizations engaged in online counterfeiting and cybersquatting - the use of a domain name that profits from another company's trademark.


According to WWD, the design house was awarded $144.2million in damages by a federal court, and the U.S. district court for the Southern District of Florida ordered the surrender to Gucci of 155 domain names used in the counterfeiting scheme.


 President and chief executive officer Patrizio di Marco said of the win: 'We are extremely pleased that the court clearly understood the dangers to consumers posed by online counterfeiting organizations. 


He added that the successful lawsuit, which was originally filed in May, 'has sent a strong message that counterfeiters can expect to receive severe sanctions when caught.' reports that the complaint was filed against 100 defendants behind web domains such as 


Gucci has filed a number of lawsuits in the past few years; a recent one, which was originally filed in both Milan and New York in 2009, accused clothing label Guess of using its trademark 'G' on some of its apparel. 


It claimed that Guess was guilty of counterfeiting, unfair competition and trademark infringement. 


Gucci won the legal battle in New York, and was ultimately awarded $457,183 in damages for breach of its signatures. 


The Milan court, however, ruled in favor of Guess, stating that the 'G' was common in the fashion world and was separate from Guess's own interlocking G symbol. 


The court also ordered the cancellation of some of Gucci's pattern trademarks in Italy.

By: Margot Peppers - Mail Online (October 17, 2013)


The World Trade Organization [WTO] axed growth projection percentage this year to become 2.5% of the estimated 3.3% in April 2013. Export and import performance of the developed nations and developing nations were the underlying calculation for this projection beside other supporting data.

According to WTO, demand for import in developing countries although admittedly increasing was progressing in lesser speed than expected. The condition was rated as holding back export growth of developed and developing nations in the first half of 2013.

Besides, consumption level, trading growth, and unemployment Uni European states were predicted no to descend significantly from the present level. Uni Europe consumed one third of the goods traded in the world. However, WTO also noted debt crisis in Uni European states was reduced significantly since last year.

In their latest prediction, WTO projected world’s trading commodities grew by 2.5% in 2013. Meanwhile export would increase by 1.5% in developing nations. On the contrary growth of import in advanced states would stagnate at around 0.1%. Meanwhile in the developing countries import was predicted to increase by 5.8% through 2013.

In 2014 WTO predicted global trading would grow by 4.5% with export increasing by 2.8% in developed countries and 6.3% in developing countries. Next year import growth among developing countries would increase to 3.2% while import in developing countries would also increase to 6.2%.

Although slowdown in trading was mostly caused by macro economic turbulence, there were strong indications that protectionism was playing its role and was now taking its different shape which was hard to detect. Some countries were allegedly exercising protectionism in disguise to protect their national interest.

Some developing countries were striving hard to urge developed countries to open their domestic market so products from developing countries could enter the markets of developed countries. Only trouble was, crisis in the developed countries made it difficult for them to the developing countries.

China was one of the emerging countries which was deeply affected by world’s economic slowdown. Demand for commodities from China by European states dropped drastically in the past 2 years. Only trouble was that around 70% of China’s GDP was contributed by export. So when export slumped, the Government of China aimed their export-ready goods to the domestic market or to other emerging markets in Asia.

Stimulus in vast magnitude was injected by the Government of China to keep their domestic economic machine rolling. The Government of China feared the possible economic slowdown at is might smash the employment sector. The sizable number of joblessness in China, around 8% of the 1.6 billion population was certainly most undesirable as it might trigger massive social outburst.

That was the reason why projection of China’s economic growth this year was axed to 7.5% after succeeding to grow by 7.8% last year. In the first three quarters of this year, the average growth percentage in China was around 7.6% per quarter.

It seemed understandable that economic slowdown in China generated pressures on export volume from the emerging markets including Indonesia. In the fast few years, trade balance between Indonesia and China always posted surplus on the side of China. Indonesia’s export to China dropped by volume and value. On the contrary import of raw materials and auxillary materials from China was increasing steadily the result was deficit on Indonesia.

In general WTO concluded that the slow growth of world’s trading over the past 2 years encouraged countries to enhance multilateral agreements; small wonder why bilateral and multilateral trade agreements heightened lately. The only thing was, amidst pessimism of economic growth, there was tendency of countries to review the Free Trade Agreement in the event that one of the countries feel they were disadvantaged by the agreement.

Indonesia is one of the countries which constantly threw a discourse to review FTA in terms of financial and economic benefit in the long run. Since the FTA era in the past 3 years, national businesspeople admitted they were not enjoying any benefit from trade agreements which was indicated by export being always less than import.

The highlight of polemic today was on China Asean Free Trade Agreement [CAFTA]. This agreement brought blissfulness to China but misfortune  on Asean, particularly Indonesia the reason was because the Government and business players of China were by far more ready for the game than their Asean counterparts.

Various distinctions of China’s products made them seem cheaper than Asean products. High operational efficiency of companies in China, supported by the right stimulus by the Government made their product highly competitive. It seemed reasonable that China was able to score surplus in bilateral or multilateral agreement.

To Indonesia, the disadvantageous situation should be pondered carefully. Even if the multilateral agreement were hard to review as it would be time consuming and energy draining, bilateral FTA could still be reviewed in this case the Government must prepare a strategy and proposed conditions acceptable to the participating countries. It was also necessary to prepare skillful negotiators to troubleshoot trade disputes and handle other irregularities.

The point was that review of bilateral FTA was necessary to keep national interest from being scarified economically, socially and politically. In this case the AEC which would be effective on January 1, 2016 for the non-financial sector must really be re-verified in terms of readiness. Let there be no disharmony where the Government claimed to be ready but the businesspeople were not.

The same step was necessary for the financial sector to be effective by 2020. In the remaining period which was the time FTA in non-financial sector and financial sector [2020], the Government and business players must share the same vision, mission and strategy in implementing the AEC 2015/2020. The change of Government in October next year must not pose as hindrance to preparing for AEC 2015-2020.

While improving the quality of agreement, the Government and national business players must also keep up with trading development of the world which was predicted to recover by 2015. At that time the new cabinet would be entering the first year of office which was expected to be better than before. Hopefully so.

Business News - September 27, 2013


Turnover of franchise business (franchise) in Indonesian during the first half of 2013 has exceeded 50% of the realization in 2012. Over the past year, the turnover of franchise business amounted to Rp 114 trillion. During the first half of this year, most of the franchise revenue comes from automotive, education, and travel agents. The main challenge to the national franchise business is improvement of competitiveness, physical and non-physical networking, and service facilities. In addition to increasing capacity, business climate improvement is also another challenge to the business.

Another challenge which is no less important is the lack of government support, so that the local franchise business is less developed. Local franchise is still unable to compete with foreign franchises so many foreign franchises entered the country. “In addition, the government does not provide much support to local entrepreneurs”, said Chairman of Indonesian Franchise Association (AFI), Anang Sukandar, in Jakarta (Wednesday, September 25).

Anang believes that the government still does not give much support to the local franchises so they do not compete with foreign franchises that continue to enter the country. Moreover, in terms of access to banking. Government should assist local franchises so they are able to compete with foreign franchises.

Anang said that foreign franchises usually have gone through coaching, business mentoring, and capital provision from their government. Under these conditions, their business thrives and is able to expand to other countries. For example, franchise business in Singapore. If a franchise business requires business consultation, the government financed approximately 75% of the total cost of consultation, so the business is successful.

In Anang’s note, there are about 350 foreign franchises that exist in Indonesia, while the number of local franchises is approximately 2,000 franchises. He sees that many of the local franchises are a business opportunity (BO). This is different from the full franchise concept because the business continuity of BO is not clear. “Entering BO is easy, but its business sustainability is questionable”, he said.

Anang said the franchise business will continue to advance. This is marked by an increasing number of businesses every year. This year, franchise business will definitely grow by 2% compared to last year. In facing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015, a number of foreign franchises will be emerging in Indonesia. He said that the growth rate of foreign franchises reaches 6%-7% per year, exceeding the growth of local franchises which is only 2%.

Director General of Domestic Trade of the Ministry of Trade, Srie Agustin, said that the main obstacle that causes the national franchise business difficult to grow is inconsistent development of local franchises. Because there are many potential local businesses that can be franchised, but cannot, because the business preparation is immature. Local franchises are still looking for an ideal form of business so they are not ready to be franchised.

In addition to the internal factor of local businesses, there are also legal barriers that cause local franchise not to grow consistently. One of them is the rules on minimum time of running a business before it is franchised. Sri explained that businessmen who want to franchise their business must have been running that business at least five years before it is franchised. This makes businessmen who want to franchise their business to wait in a long time. However, the number of local businesses potential to be franchised is fairly high. There are 1,700 units of local businesses that have a potential to become a franchise.

Business News - September 27, 2013


Home industry crafters and UKM Small Business must be made aware of the importance of Intellectual Right [HaKI]. Application for patenting was necessary to prevent handicraft work from being claimed by another country. If all products were already certified, crafters would be rest assured that their products would be marketable in the world. In case of Batik, for example there was no need to fear it would be exploited by other countries since it was already patended as Indonesian product.

Crafters must also constantly strive to step up their competence. Creativity was needed by every crafters whereby to make high quality product. To command the market, a product must be strong in terms of design, production, packaging and selling. “The key solution is in the awareness of crafters themselves especially about intellectual right. I believe their awareness must be stepped up” Okke Hatta Rajasa, Chairman of the Board of National Handicraft [Dekranas] stated in Jakarta on Thursday [19/9].

Considering the importance of intellectual Right [Haki] Okke also pled to all crafters in Indonesia to patent their creations based on design and technology to protect them from hi-jacking. He said that crafters must intensely patent the deign and pattern of their work pieces. Not less important was the underlying technology of production.

Okke stated that patenting would be facilitates by the National Board of Handicraft and the Ministry of Industry to be forwarded to the Ministry of law and Human Right. Crafters must understand the importance of Haki for handicraft. In the future, he said Dekranas would scheme up a module to all crafters in Indonesia on how to manage Haki and patenting of handicraft.

Registration of work pieces was needed as evident of intellectual right. Haki was also important for protecting a creators’ work pieces from hijacking. As known, the three components of Haki were among others trademark, patent, industrial design.

He also saw that domestic handicraft and furniture products were still having problems, among others patented products. Unfortunately furniture carpenters had low awareness about patenting their products. Many people still believe that law enforcement and protection of intellectual rights in Indonesia was still law. Crafters were reluctant to patent their products, excusing themselves for not being able to afford to pay for it.

They said that exposure of handicraft products and furniture was a dilemma. If they were displayed in Expo, imitation would mushroom. If not displayed, they would not sell. Under such circumstances, creation of local crafters would be robbed by other countries. Crab chairs and bar tables for example was now copied and patented in China and France. He admitted that claim of patent by foreign companies had often occurred.

It was reported that the case was solved by way of down tracking. Meaning authentic documents denoting products made by Indonesian furniture producers were tracked down. For that matter it was important to pay serious attention to genuine Indonesian made products. Product innovation was absolutely important, with the support of natural raw materials which was abundant like rattan and teakwood. “Low awareness of intellectual rights, he said, made Indonesian handicraft and other products of the creative industry easily hi-jacked” Okke said. 

Business News - September 25, 2013


The gateway to the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) cooperation 2015 will soon be opened. This is the first mileston of an open competition among all ASEAN member countries in the economic sector covering freer flow of goods, services, investment, skilled labor and capital, and such provisions have been made and agreed in the blueprint at the 19th ASEAN Summit in Bali in 2011.

However, business operators considered that Indonesia is not ready to face the ASEAN free market competition in 2015. Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin Indonesia), Suryo Bambang Sulisto, in Jakarta (Monday, September 16), doubted the readiness of Indonesia in facing AEC 2015. Because until now, the government and the businesses have not sought to integrate program for the preparation toward AEC 2015. To face AEC 2015, Kadin Indonesia hopes that there is an integrative involvement in Indonesia government policy-making such as has been done in other ASEAN countries, among others, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

However, Suryo said, if AEC is applied at the end of 2015, ASEAN will be open to free flow of goods, free flow of services, free flow of investment, free flow of capital, and free flow of skilled labor. This, he said, is up to each country to obtain the benefits of freedom. However, the government is supposed to support the businesses. To that end, the government should eliminate all obstacles so that businesses can improve competitiveness.

He explained that Indonesia should realize its advantages and disadvantages, such as comparative advantages associated with level of efficiency in producing goods. Therefore, the integration of the industrial base in important because the country that has a high comparative advantage for a particular product will become the basis of the industry of the particular product.

Suryo said that many considered that Indonesia was not ready to face the AEC 2015. Because the competitiveness of both the products and the human resources is still unable to compete with other imported products. It is feared that the implementation of AEC will kill Indonesian products. According to Suryo, ASEAN economic integration will create a market that covers an area of 4.47 million square km with a potential of approximately 601 million people. Therefore, it requires the seriousness and readiness of Indonesia to face the AEC 2015. “Readiness is necessary so that Indonesia will become a major player, not just a participant in the AEC”, said Suryo.

It is also expresses by Sofjan Wanandi, General Chairman of Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo). He said that Indonesia should be prepared for 2015. Sofjan sees that so far the preparation of the Indonesian government and the businesses is not evident. According to him, the AEC must be faced by the government and employers, as well as the public. He said that many laws have been made, but they are overlapping and counterproductive.

It is said that the implementation of AEC will definitely have an impact on the economies of the countries in the ASEAN region. The opening of economic accesses will bring up increasing competition in the business sector. Not only competing in the country, Indonesian entrepreneurs will be dealing with entrepreneurs at the regional level. 

Business News - September 20, 2013