Registration of your company’s trademark is an invaluable asset to building your company’s brand. After all, you are recognizable through the logo, design, colors, graphics, and slogans.
In Indonesia, trademark registration is a process that can take up to two years, but once complete, it adds credibility, marketability, and provides legal grounds for eliminating piracy and copy-cats.
Applications for trademarks go to the Directorate General of Intellectual Property, who review it via the process and guidelines below and decide on its approval.
All applicants must appoint a registered Trademark Consultant with a signed Power of Attorney and Declaration of Entitlement to file their trademark registration application.
Preparing for trademark registration in Indonesia
First, a brand check is necessary to determine if your registration is likely to be approved or not. As a rule of thumb, the more thorough you are on your trademark application, the more chances you have to be approved.
Through this step, you ensure that your trademark is clearly distinguishable from other trademarks that are already registered or those where applications are in process. Indonesia follows the “first to file” rule, whereas the company that applies first will win the registration.
Emerhub can do this search for you, by searching the company registry and the trademark database.
Common reasons for trademark registration refusals
The most common reasons for why trademarks certificates are not granted are:
- It is similar to other trademarks that were already approved. This similarity can be whole or partial to the name, logo, description of products/ services
- It is similar to the trademarks where the application was submitted earlier than yours (even though it is not approved yet)
- It does not match the classification, or it is misleading in the description of the goods and/or services
- Example: `Mie Instan Number 1` (this is a misleading brand name, as it self proclaims to be ‘number 1’)
- It is similar to the name or alias of a famous person or legal entity owned by other people
- Example: `Kacang Jokowi`
- It conflicts with the Indonesian national or religious ideologies, morals, and codes of conduct.
- Example: A company recently tried to register a logo that resembled a hammer and a sickle, resembling the logo of the CCCP. While the company had nothing to do with promoting communism, it was perceived as one and the trademark was refused.
The trademark application process in Indonesia
- Choose trademark classification
Choose the correct classification for your trademark, and be clear about the description of your services and goods. There are 45 classifications you can register your trademark under. Class 1 to 34 are for goods, and 35 – 45 are for services.
If needed, you can apply for more than one classification in a single trademark application
- List the owners of the trademark
All owners must be listed on the application. Joint ownership is allowed in Indonesia, but there are added risks, as all parties must agree on intellectual property decisions and actions.
- Official Trademark News by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights
After 15 working days of the acceptance date, your application will be published on the Ministry of Law and Human Rights website in official trademark news. This gives the opportunity for opposition.
This step takes two months, and during this time, you can revise, object or even cancel your application. If there is opposition, you can reject it via a counter statement. But if there is no objection, the process moves forward to the next steps.
- Approval or Refusal of Trademark Certificate
The final examination and issuing of the trademark certificate can take up to two years.
If the registration is approved, the certificate will be issued. If your application is refused, you can appeal through your Trademark Consultant, and you must do so within 90 days. After that, the decision is considered final.
The Trademark Committee will issue their decision on the appeal within three months. If it is refused again, you have another 90 days to issue another appeal.
The trademark certificate, once issued, is valid for 10 years and can be extended. To apply for an extension, you must apply within six (6) months before the registration expires.
Transferring trademark rights in Indonesia
Trademark rights can be transferred due to a number of reasons, such as inheritance, a mutual agreement, company acquisition, dissolving of business, etc.
To transfer the rights of the trademark, the owner(s) can do so at any time by submitting a transfer application, through your Trademark Consultant.
The Directorate General will then take 15 days to review, and if granted, the transfer of the trademark will be recorded in the trademark registration database within six (6) months.
Licensing trademark to third parties
Trademark owners in Indonesia are able to license the trademark to third parties. Licensing of rights is often a preferred route to having co-owners of a trademark, as there are fewer complications. Owners not only maintain sole rights to their trademark, but they also collect residual income from royalties through the licensees.
License agreements are also regulated and must be recorded by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
The application for recordal can be submitted by the licensor or licensee. Your Trademark Consultant can review the requirements and terms that must be met within the agreement. Once approved, the license agreement will be recorded and published in the Directorate General website, and it’s valid for five (5) years.
Without the recordal, the rights of the license holders to enforce the terms and conditions within the agreement cannot be enforced against infringements.
The Trademark Consultants at Emerhub can assist with applications for Trademark Registration, transferring of rights, as well as Recordal of Licensing. Contact us through the form below or directly via the company registration page to discuss how we can further assist you.