Songket Palembang (http://sinarsaktiimages.photoshelter.com)

The Palembang City Government has again submitted a patent for 49 songket motifs to the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights. This is an effort to protect cultural heritage from being lost while at the same time increasing competitiveness in the international market.

According to the Head of Industry, Industry, Trade and Cooperatives (Disperindagkop) of the Palembang City Government, Rosidi Ali, Saturday (24/4) in Palembang, the 49 songket motifs were the result of an inventory of the city government team for two months. The team is not only from government elements, but also from academics and historical-cultural observers.

‚ÄúTechnically, the team goes to the craftsmen to take production samples. Then each songket that will be patented is given a name. The naming refers to the details of the motif, the type of fabric, and the pattern of the final production,” said Rosidi Ali.

Some of the names of the patented songket motifs include Lepus Bintang Berakam, Bungo Pacific, Sow Limar Bintang Gajah Mada, Jupri, Bungo Daffodil, Bungo Kayu Apui, Bungo Tabur Limar Sleeping Cat Tajung Rompak, and Limar Tigo Negeri Cempuk Butterfly.

The official letter for filing the 49th patent for the palembang songket motif was submitted to the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, through the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights (HAKI), last week. Before the patent is issued, the Palembang City Government must wait for several further processes, starting from research on motives, verbal and non-verbal confirmation, then ending with an official notification from the center.

22 Motives approved

According to Kompas, the Palembang City Government’s efforts to record and patent songket motifs began in 2007. At the end of 2008, the local government registered patent rights for 71 songket motifs to the central government. Of the 71 motives, the central government only approved 22 motives. In mid-March 2010, the city government re-applied 25 patents for motifs.

The approval letter from the Director General of Intellectual Property Rights related to 22 motifs from 71 songket motifs was received by the Palembang City Government in early February 2010. Therefore, as soon as the patent was issued, we immediately recorded another motif and applied for a patent. (As many as 49 motives) this is the third submission,” said Rosidi Ali.

Some of the names of Palembang songket motifs that already have patents include Bungo Diamond, Japanese Limar Rose, Chain Limar, Country Limar, Country Lepus Pulir Tigo, and Chain Gold Limar.

Preservation efforts

Head of the Palembang City Disperindagkop Wantjik Badaruddin added that the patent was an effort by the government to preserve the noble cultural heritage by providing legal protection. In the era of free trade and globalization, songket as a local product that has been going on for generations also needs to be given an identity in the form of a patent.

“This is important to anticipate the practice of plagiarism, theft, and patenting of motives by certain parties, especially from other countries,” said Wantjik.

Currently in the city of Palembang there are 1,500 songket craftsmen. Judging from their production capacity, the craftsmen in Palembang are still at the level of micro-small, medium and household businesses. Currently, approximately 200 Palembang songket motifs are produced by local craftsmen.

Zainal, a songket craftsman, supports the government’s promotion of patenting. Besides being important for protecting motives, this patent is also useful in terms of songket marketing. One of the positive impacts is being able to increase the competitiveness and bargaining position of crafters in marketing songket internationally.

“We believe that the existence of a patent will make Palembang songket more advanced. The quality is getting better,” he said.

Source: Malay Tourism

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