Can foreigners register trademarks in Indonesia?

Since 2018, a dispute over the ‘Superman’ brand has occurred in Indonesia. Many law firms in Indonesia decided to study this case. The result certainly surprised all parties because it turned out that the Supreme Court’s decision last May won the local Superman from Surabaya as the legitimate brand owner and broke the claim of ownership of the Superman brand from DC Comics, a comic publishing company from the United States. The dispute over a well-known trademark with a local brand such as the “Superman” case is not the first case in Indonesia.

Then how exactly is the trademark registration system in Indonesia? It turns out that in the registration of a mark, there are two principles that apply internationally and are recognized throughout the world, namely the first to file principle or whoever registers for the first time is considered the owner of the right to the mark in question and the territorial principle where protection of the mark only applies in the country where the mark is registered which is registered. meaning there is no protection in other countries that are not registered. The first to file territorial principles are regulated in the Paris Convention or Paris Convention Article 6, Article 6 paragraph 3, and also Article 16 paragraph 1 TRIPs (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights).

This international rule has been ratified by Indonesia into the Trademark Law Number 20 of 2016 concerning Trademarks and Geographical Indications so that these two principles also apply in Indonesia. This is what makes it as famous as any trademark owned by a person or business entity, it must still be registered not only in the country of owner but also in other countries. Does this mean that a trademark owned by a foreign national can be registered in Indonesia and can an outside trademark that does not have a legal entity in Indonesia register a trademark in Indonesia? To find out, let’s see the following explanation.

based on the Trademark and Geographical Indication Law, applications for trademark registration can be made by foreigners or foreign legal entities domiciled abroad, this means that trademarks owned by foreigners may be registered in Indonesia. Foreign marks can also be registered even though they do not have a legal entity domiciled in Indonesia.

However, there are special provisions if the applicant is a foreign national or legal entity, which must be accompanied by an intellectual property consultant who has been registered and resides or has permanent domicile in Indonesia and specifically provides services in the field of submitting and managing intellectual property applications. This shows that there are no restrictions in terms of subject / applicant to apply for trademark registration. If you need help, ask law firm Jakarta for more information.

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