Client Alert Reminder: Starting 17 August 2019, Indonesian IP Office to Begin Rejecting Future Patent Applications Based on Unpaid Annuities

Jun 18, 2019

Further to our previous Client Alerts, Patent Owners are reminded that beginning on 17 August 2019, the Indonesian Intellectual Property Office (DGIP) will start rejecting new patent applications filed by applicants who have ‘outstanding annuities’ due to the Indonesian government.

Such ‘outstanding annuities’ are those that arose under the previous Indonesian Patent Law of 2001, whereby a patent owner sought to passively abandon a patent through the non-payment of annuities for three consecutive years. While not previously enforced until recently, Articles 88 and 115 (as well as the Explanatory Notes) stated that those unpaid annuities would be considered a ‘debt’ owned to the Indonesian government by the patent holder.

If such debts are not paid by 17 August 2019, the Indonesian IP Office has publicly stated that new applications filed by those applicants will be rejected.

Many patent owners have already received notification letters from the Indonesian government regarding the debt created by these ‘outstanding annuities.’ Other owners may not have yet received such letters even though their patent(s) were passively abandoned under the old Law and thus would be implicated by the new policies. Either way, patent owners should move immediately to confirm whether there are any outstanding patent annuities in their name that may cause new patent applications to be rejected.

Such rejections were originally supposed to begin on 16 February 2019 but the Director General of Intellectual Property Dr. Freddy Harris extended the time by six months to 17 August 2019.

Affected patent owners should keep in the mind that the entire process can take a few weeks or more in order to obtain the necessary ‘debt free’ letter from the Ministry of Finance following payment, and then to lodge such letter with the Indonesian Patent Office. Thus, patent owners are strongly advised to begin the process as soon as possible and not to wait until close to the 17 August 2019 deadline.

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Januar Jahja & Partners (JJP) is a boutique IP firm based in Jakarta, Indonesia with more than 30 years experience in all aspects of Indonesian patent law, especially patent prosecution and annuity maintenance. For any questions relating to the above Client Alert or about patent matters in general, please contact us at januar@jahja.com. For more information, please visit www.jahja.com.

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