Indonesia Music Copyright Law Vs Copyright Infringement

Indonesia is a democratic country, at least in its principle. Well, at least, the word “democracy” does not come with quotation marks again, as happened during the New Order. Now, democracy will either sound or discuss everything, or appoint a representative to do all the voices and discuss, and thus decide anything that will be applied into law, which must be followed and maintained by the executive branch (just to remind you, this means that the President and his administration). Now, what does this have to do with the digital music business? law, that’s what.

Being essentially a content-based business, the music industry is strongly influenced by the copyright laws – how the government sees the problem of copyright infringement and how to think it is implemented. And a million things that regulatory requirements in the country, copyright law recently most in Indonesia was signed into law in 2002, under President Megawati Sukarnoputri. Though according to some still lacking in some areas, legislation upgraded to add some much needed legal protection for cinematographic works for a computer program, like the previous version of the copyright law was signed into law in 1979.

One of the clauses of the most interesting of the law, at least in the context of the music industry, stating that “unless agreed in advance by the Creator, technology control methods to protect the rights of the Creator must not be damaged, removed or rendered dysfunctional”. The next clause goes on to explain that creation using high technology, such as optical discs, must follow all government regulations and requirements of the relevant authorities. There is also a clause protection for music producers (read: music labels) and broadcasters (read: a television station), in addition to the creator / composer. This clause is also a major upgrade from the previous version of the law.

This is where democracy comes in: every upgrade to the existing law – or even the creation of new ones – it really depends on what the issue House of Representatives (DPR) has the most urgent need for regulation. Whatever the Parliament deems important based on their own personal beliefs, each direction of their political affiliation, and direct feedback from the community. This is where the lobby usually come – to make sure certain issues and interests are properly represented in parliament and therefore the right benefited from revised legislation.

Thus, during the preparation of the Copyright Act 2002, lobbyists from the record companies, television stations and production companies CD / DVD (along with the content owner) to make sure that they have proper protection in the revised law. And notes that, under the Copyright Act 2002, “Phonogram Producers have the exclusive right to give permission or prohibit other parties without authorization duplicate and / or hire works sound recording or audio recording”.

Therefore, in this case, music piracy is a crime – and the 1979 Copyright Act does not have the clear words like this. So, music piracy is a crime by the law, but also because the Parliament and the recording companies are defined as such. But remember, these legal considerations also took a covenant from the World Intellectual Property Organization into account, as they also ratified the 2002 law.

So here’s the takeaway: Indonesia copyright laws make it illegal to upload music files that unauthorized file sharing networks, and it is also illegal for avoiding DRM to access and / or duplicate music content. It also makes it illegal for websites to distribute content that is unlawful, because it is considered a file unauthorized duplication. The unfortunate thing about the law in Indonesia, is the enforcement (or lack thereof) – only the recent actions the government has taken against illegal file-sharing sites, even then after much lobbying by the industry.

Thus, the law is clear about piracy, whether or not it is a relevant issue in the development of content consumption. So the question is, should it become a problem or an opportunity?

A Case of “Trademark Squatter” in Indonesia


A driving Italian design organization is occupied with the retail dress and attire business. The Italian organization’s tasks are broad, and it has various stores all through the Southeast Asian locale. The Italian organization possesses a few enlisted exchange denotes that ensure its brands, including the trademark ‘AAA’, which is enrolled in numerous nations around the world. Indonesia is among these nations, where the imprint is enrolled under the products and enterprises classification in Classes 18, 25, and 35.

trademark indonesia under Class 25 was made in 2008. Given the correct enlistment, the Italian organization was sure that no indistinguishable or misleadingly confounding comparable imprints would be permitted to be enrolled in similar classifications of products or potentially services.

It appears, nonetheless, that the trademark inspector in Indonesia has less stringent assessment criteria when looking at similitudes between applied-for marks and earlier enlisted imprints. An imprint indistinguishable from ‘AAA’ concerning the classification of merchandise in Class 25 was applied for by a nearby individual in Indonesia in 2010. This was then distributed in the Trademark Gazette to consider any restriction by outsiders around then, inside the cutoff time to oppose.

Fortunately, the Italian organization was utilizing a ‘Watch Service,’ which cautions and cautions organizations with enrolled exchange checks about conceivable indistinguishable or confusingly comparable imprints being distributed in the Trademark Indonesia around the world. The Italian organization, in this way, was made mindful of the production in the Trademark Gazette by the exchange mark squatter well before the cutoff time to contradict had expired.

The exchange mark inspector in control educated the Italian organization that the distributed exchange mark application secured the merchandise of, in addition to other things, ‘sarong and other Muslim clothing’, which are an alternate sort of apparel from the Italian organization’s enrolled products—despite the fact that the application was to be enlisted in Class 25 too. Along these lines, the exchange mark analyst had endorsed the enrollment, regardless of the way that the general appearance and vocal part of the imprints were both indistinguishable from the Italian organization’s earlier enlisted marks.

Hence, the Italian organization’s direction prompted that a restriction ought to be documented inside the cutoff time to keep the distributed application from arriving at the enlistment stage.

In request to record an effective restriction, the Italian organization needed to demonstrate the following:

  1. The applied-for imprint was indistinguishable or confusingly like their own earlier enrolled imprint, and the utilization of such an imprint—even with the order ‘Sarong and other Muslim clothing’— would cause disarray among general customers with regards to the starting point of the goods.
  2. The candidate didn’t have any rights or genuine interests in the applied-for mark. The candidate petitioned for enlistment of the applied-for mark in ‘dishonesty’, trying to ride on the notoriety of the Italian organization’s earlier enrolled mark.
  3. Fortunately, in light of the fact that the imprint ‘AAA’ had been enlisted in various nations worldwide by the Italian organization, the exchange mark analyst was persuaded that the Italian organization had a superior right to the imprint ‘AAA.’ thus, the trademark indonesia squatter’s application was recorded in dishonesty, and the distributed application was dismissed for enrollment. The candidate didn’t request the case, which carried it to a close.
  • Register your exchange mark any potential future markets in Southeast Asia, to cover satisfactory classes of merchandise and enterprises of your exisiting and future item lines.
  • The trademark inspector’s assessment criteria changes in every nation and is emotional. In this way, it is judicious to lead an overall watch administration for your trademark, so as to remain educated regarding any potential trademark squatters in every ward. Restricting a distributed application is unmistakably more cost-and time-viable than case dependent on a nullification of an enrolled exchange mark (even one dependent on dishonesty). The case to nullify the enlisted imprint every now and again should be brought to a court, and can cost roughly EUR 5,000–30,000, contingent upon the unpredictability of the case.
  • Trademark proprietors ought to be always exceptional on the proof of utilization in every nation, either through licensees or neighborhood merchants, with the goal that such proof can be effectively accumulated when needed.
  • With the up and coming coordination of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), it is profoundly suggested that an enrollment is looked for in all part conditions of ASEAN, because of a free progression of merchandise and ventures in the area.

The Importance of trademark registration in Indonesia

Clear out your indecision when it comes to setting up a company in trademark Indonesia. By all means, the country is teeming with ample opportunities you are required to grab. Aside from becoming the world’s 4th largest nation in the term of population, the country undeniably has full potential and benefit for the global entrepreneurs who seriously focus on expanding their PT PMA. Furthermore, South East Asia’s greatest promising market gradually knocks the country’s public debt to GDP off. This indication points out that Indonesia deserves to be the center of foreigners’ investment and doing business as well.

If the well-established foreign-owned liability company or PT PMA is the thing you are driving at, you need to underline that aside from getting the idea on how the process of company registration is carried out, creating a trademark easily unforgotten is another facet you can’t think little of. Before the exercise is gone through with, be sure to let it registered so that the upcoming quaint predicament could be, to the most, anticipated. Accordingly, it is pretty evident that making out the importance of trademark registration in Indonesia is nothing but noteworthy.

What is a Trademark?

According to upsto.gov, a trademark is anything related to symbol, design, word or phrase that signifies as well as distinguishing the source of the goods from one party to another. The primary objective why your company should create a trademark is to make both product and service of your unique and extraordinary. The people, specifically your potential future customers, are convenient to identify your brand and business. For instance, when you are seeking a laptop at a department store then you catch a glimpse an apple mark from afar, you must absolutely know that the portable, light computer is no other than the Apple.

In substance, a trademark is the epitome of your business origin. The embodiment could be comprised of slogans, words, shapes, colors, or pictures. To appeal your customers’ interest, it is vital that you combine those kinds. Typically, terms and images are regards any business developers shouldn’t miss out—yet, you are free to decide which type of preferential signs as long as the marks of yours are can be graphically displayed. As a trademark is something valuable, you need to register it immediately. Have you ever heard the valid trademark right? With this, the owners are able to keep unwanted things away such as copying or profiteering things with someone’s brand.

Possibilities leading to crime from patent infringement to taking the company’s names without consent are widely open if the case of unregistered trademarks comes to pass on you. Because of this, you are highly recommended to do the trademark right registration either at the national-scale office or the regional one. If you find the validity period of your registered trademark expired, it is pretty clear that you are encouraged to renew the phase to keep it in force. Here in Indonesia, the renewal is commonly carried out every 10 years.

The keynote before you register your company name or trademark you are bringing along, it is overly important to consult the design of a bonafide trademark attorney. The PT PMA owners ought to understand that not all logos are able to be taken into the trademark registration process—and neither are the words. The applicants should check out whether the chosen brand in line with the trademark searching or not. Keep in mind that verifying your business name totally is urgent. It would be something pathetic knowing the fact that your mark is turned down by the trademark office as your selected badge has a similar concept to another party who has previously registered.

Another matter you are encouraged to have a go is to make sure that the shapes or slogans of your PT PMA are not geography related names, commonly used labels, and company names officially registered. In addition to that, the picked one does not violate any basic regulation issued by the nation’s trademark institution. Being distinctive definitely comes with no exception. The unusual words, signs or whatever they are, definitely exude the out of this world impression allowing other traders to easily identify them. Last but not least, avoid too much description on the mark you’ve shaped.

Why Should You Register a Trademark?

Once the company formation is taken into a further step, the PT PMA of yours requires a trademark and allows it to be registered. In the Indonesian context, the trademark registration indeed plays a significant role to determine the future of your company. Here are a couple of reasons why registering a trademark in the country is necessary.

1. First to File Lets Your Company Be Prioritized

Based on the 2001 Trademark Act, Indonesia is the one which applies the first to file approach. What does this statement imply? It indicates that a business entity legally formed, be it a limited liability company or a foreign-owned type, which files for a certain trademark will get a special privilege—being given top priority for the use. The failure in filing a trademark is definitely a section mostly precluded by big industries. There is nothing to wonder about as it is often associated with building a good reputation. The trademark registration is arguably the early way to make everything clear and accepted broadly in public.

2. To Get an Exclusive Right and Full Protection

Although there is no guarantee that infringing the intellectual property (IP) of yours might be done by other people, the palpable benefit of registering your company’s mark is getting an access for the exclusive right in which your trademark is wholly protected. Unless you don’t uncover a trademark violation enforced by irresponsible parties which your consent is put aside, for sure, you can sue them. The copyright protection also impacts on bringing down the risk of the IP pilferage. Other business parties surely won’t take a higher risk by stealing the patent.

3. To Increase Your Business Value

Not only does a trademark serve as a patented symbol but it also becomes a worth commodity which can be traded—it absolutely owns value. Selling the mark would be something great as it is subjected to affair arousing attractiveness to other promising purchasers, as well as potential buyers. To let other parties use your existing trademark in the future and order for it more comprehensive, there is nothing you can do other than licensing it. With the registered version, you are also capable of franchising it. After setting up company, building a network of a franchise is, beyond doubt, denotative to your PT PMA’s growth. All in all, it makes your profits significantly go up.

4. Benefitting the Recognition of Unified Brand

Listed as one of the freshest members in an organization linked to the Madrid System, Indonesia opens an ample opportunity for business people and their companies to hand over a single trademark application—this one is fully applicable on January 2nd, 2018. By doing the submission, your trademark can be identified by more than 100-plus members in the world. With that, you don’t only save the expense of business and time as well but also expand your typical business in the international level. The unified brand also allows the product of yours to be noticeable globally.

5. To Stay Clear of the Passing off Expense

The common problems any business individual can’t avoid dealing with a trademark are no other than the infringement and passing off.  Unlike the infringement which can eventually be settled once you officially have the registered trademark certificate, the passing off requires you more evidence—just imagine, if the mark you’ve created with hard work remains unregistered, the process of proving is both time-consuming and costing an arm and a leg. This issue will affect your company’s budget. When the name can’t be enforced, you will finally run into the inevitable bankruptcy.

6. A Trademark Represents Your Company Originality

Apart from gaining the lucrative advantages, the presence of registered trademark is to avert the product confusion commonly occurring in the marketplace. Arguably, the dissimilar trademark of yours indicates what your company formation looks like, how your brand is brought, and where to get back if your customers are uneasy to forget your product. Furthermore, it is such a valuable asset and advertising instrument when it comes to running the marketing strategy. By showcasing the logo or particular symbol, your marketing task seems lighter and more efficient.

Tips for Successfully Renewing Trademark Registrations

Broadly speaking, the procedure of renewing the trademark registrations ought to be easy. On the contrary, it is not as easy as falling a log off. To anticipate the issue, we always recommend you to go for these following tips:

1. Never Wait for the Renewal Deadline

To clear up your ignorance, you must understand that Indonesia, in fact, has no precise grace period when it comes to dealing with late filing. Submitting the renewal application to the Indonesian trademark office on the expiry date is such a bad idea. How does it come? As we know that Indonesia is a country which applies the first-to-file jurisdiction. Based on the cases commonly found, a party who misses the early filing date will undergo trouble. The process of litigation, as well as enforcement, will be agitated. Unfortunately, when the chance is gone, it’s pretty tough for you to refill the similar application. Hence, renew the registration far before the deadline.

2. Be Sure that the Information You Provide is Consistent

Being consistent in giving information throughout the Indonesian portfolio is another key factor in order for your trademark registration renewal to be winning. Being inconsistent leads you to a couple of disadvantages. Not only does it slow the renewal process down but the thing also results in the pending application. Today’s Indonesian trademark office mostly detail-oriented is very keen on examining all of the applicant’s information from name to address. Don’t you know that even little information difference could cause fatality on the application progress? The delay is purely your own mistake.

3. Don’t Take the Necessary Records Lightly

If you think that your trademark requires an update like novelizing the name of your company, as well as the address, make sure to provide the records interrelated with your fresh submission. The first benefit of undertaking this is to help you ensure that you don’t break the previous recommendation—being consistent across the portfolio. Secondly, you absolutely give confidence to the Indonesian trademark office so that unwanted possibility could be completely evaded. Once the necessary information is updated, the renewal notification immediately comes up.

4. Do the Renewal Application One Year Earlier before the Day of Expiration

Instead of facing the disappointing realities in which your application is suspended, it is vital that you submit the renewal application one year before the date of expiration. This regulation is for sure applicable to for those setting up company in Indonesia. In a few cases, the procedure of renewal activity, as well as the notification brought forth by the local trademark office might take more than a year—after finding out this circumstance, having a go with the earlier execution certainly doesn’t only save your time but also the energy. This suggestion has helped thousands of business people who struggle in acquiring the legal document in Indonesia.

5. If It is Needed, Prepare a Copy of the Registration Certificate

For the additional preparation, you had better provide a copy of registration certificate. The objective of this arrangement is to convince the officers that your renewal application is filled with whole consistency. This condition is as a matter of fact, relevant to the current shape of registration certificate in which the applicants are required to retype all information. Most significantly in the term of professionalism, it shows that you have great goods/service so that the renewal procedure might spend less time. Diminishing the risk of not taking hold of the original filing is another benefit of reading the copy.

Indonesia Trademark Registration Process

The trademark registration process in Indonesia might be either short or long—normally, the whole steps until the approval need 12 to 24 months. Everything depends on the way you prepare all the documents required as well as the submission timing. What about the charge? You have to underline that the spending includes the registration request, pre-filling search, and certificate.

Before taking up the procedural steps of registering the trademark, it is very necessary to know what types of materials you have to cover. Those essentials are described as follows:

  • A power of attorney or known as POA that needs to be signed by the trademark registration applicant
  • A statement telling the mark ownership signed by the applicant
  • A registration order form rightfully completed
  • 15 printouts of your trademark (it should be placed in the center of non-glossy A4 paper) or for simplicity reason, a softcopy version in JPG format might be included
  • A copy of applicant’s identity proof showing the personal information (this could be a passport or a business registration certificate)
  • A copy of priority document which has been certified along with the English translation

The Procedures of Trademark Application in Indonesia

  • Find the right intellectual property (IP) consultant. For those who establish the PT PMA, be sure to hire an Indonesian intellectual property consultant coming with the power of attorney which has been assigned. And the same is true of the declaration of entitlement so that the process of filing in regard to the application of trademark registration is successfully carried out.
  • The Directorate General of Intellectual Property or DGIP will conduct a trademark search. This measure is to make certain that the mark of yours is not identical with other trademarks which have been previously registered. Besides, it is to check out whether your trademark is in consonance with Indonesia’s law stipulated in the Trademark Act No 15 of 2001. The examination is also great for strengthening other values in force in the country’s society.
  • The ultimate step is to complete the process of trademark registration. In order to be completely accepted, it is vital that you be thorough when it comes to supplying the materials as described above. In general, there are three processes taken—a formal assessment, the entirety review, and last but not least, the announcement. The accepted trademark is released in the trademark official journal and the registration certificate officially issued by the DGIP is finally delivered to mark owner.

To make a long story short, understanding the importance of trademark registration in Indonesia, executing, as well as renewing it are indeed things you can’t skip out while setting up a company in the country. It is definitely important for your company’s sustainability. The advantages you can take benefit range from gaining an exclusive right and whole protection to avoiding the passing off. What are you waiting for? Get your incredible trademark indonesia registered soon