Key Changes to Indonesian Patent and Trademark Laws after enactment of Law No. 11 Year 2020

By Alban Kang, Martin Kwan

11-2020

Indonesia patent law provides protection for two categories of patents: a regular patent and a “simple patent”.

A regular patent refers to inventions that are novel, possess an inventive step and have industrial applicability, a familiar definition used in Commonwealth countries. “Simple patents” bear similarity with jurisdictions offering utility model, innovation or short term protection options. However, in contrast to jurisdictions which only allow protection over a device, processes can also be protected under a simple patent.

Law No. 11 Year 2020, known as “the Omnibus Law” (for containing numerous revisions to existing laws, especially employment), came into force in Indonesia on 2 November 2020. While retaining the definition of a simple patent as being granted for every new invention, development of an existing product or process with industrial applicability, the Omnibus Law now states that the development of an existing product or process can cover simple products, simple processes or simple methods.

The fee for substantive examination has now to be paid at the time of filing, otherwise the simple patent application is considered withdrawn. Grant or rejection of a simple patent should occur no later than 6 months from filing. Read in combination with the new stipulation of what the development of an existing product or process can cover, as mentioned above, one view is that simple patents should be easier to obtain. However, the new law also allows for a simple patent to be opposed during publication, which occurs no later than 14 days from the filing of a simple patent application. Substantive examination is conducted after publication ends, factoring whether an opposition was filed.

The Omnibus Law also covered the following changes:

  • Patent “working requirement” provisions. Initial plans to scrap them were dropped. While retained, use requirements are somewhat relaxed from adding import and licensing as evidence of working an invention. Previously, only use and manufacture were considered.

  • Compulsory licensing. To avoid a compulsory license, the activities of import and licensing, mentioned in part a) above, is usable to prove that a patent has been worked.

  • Trademark law. Shapes/marks that are functional are no longer registrable. Duration of substantive examination reduced from 150 days to 30 days if no opposition; or 90 days if opposed.

This article is produced by our Singapore office, Bird & Bird ATMD LLP, and does not constitute legal advice. It is intended to provide general information only. Please contact our lawyers if you have any specific queries.