A couple of years back1, the Indonesian Parliament enacted the new Patent law, with the view to overcome the loopholes in the existing law and taking it at par with other countries and international standards. This revamped law does not only amends certain existing provisions but also introduces myriad novel provisions which aim at granting sufficient protection to traditional knowledge along with domestic genetic resources and rewarding the inventors of those inventions which are created while being in official service with the government agencies. The key highlights of the new patent law include-
Comprehensive and efficient protection to local genetic resources and traditional knowledge
As per the amended patent law, there lies an obligation on the inventor to specify the origin of the genetic resource or the traditional knowledge in case the invention seeks derivation from either source. This disclosure is to be made in the description of the concerned invention to avoid any confusion concerning claims being made by any other country to the same genetic resource or traditional knowledge.
The provision regarding inventions created in official services
As per the amended patent law, the inventor of an invention created in official services with a government agency will be entitled to reward in the form of compensation from non-state tax revenue for the said invention. The point of focus here is that to, be entitled to the reward the inventor may or may not be the patent holder, in other words, it's the inventor who is rewarded and not the patent holder.2
The scope of patentability and exclusion of certain areas from the invention
The new patent law excludes certain inventions from the scope of patentability. These include- computer program was earlier completely excluded from being regarded as an invention for patentability, but under the revised law; if a computer program meets certain conditions like having characters, technical effects, etc, then it would be regarded as an invention else it would be excluded from the scope of patentability; the Second form of patents and discoveries of second use are completely kept out of the scope of patentability, hence if there is a new use of any known product then it cannot be regarded an invention under the law.3
The expansion of powers of the Patent Appeal Commission
Under the revised patent law, the patent appeal commission has been granted a broader range of authority to deal with matters of; receiving, examining and deciding the appeals against rejected applications; appeals against patent decisions; appeal for correction on the description.4
Extending the ambit of 'simple patents' (utility models)
The new patent law provides for the extended scope of protection for simple patents wherein they not only grant protection to new inventions or significant improvements in existing inventions but also takes into its ambit new processes or significant changes in existing processes.5
Online filing procedure and extension of certain deadlines
This is one of the most appreciated provisions of the new patent law wherein procedure for online filing of applications with the IPO is provided. Though, there is still a need for significant changes to be made, to, ensure its enforcement in true sense. Moreover, the late submission of formality requirement is 3 months which can be extended for a further 2 months on a request in writing and further for 1 month on payment of late fee and request in writing.6
The annual fee payment mechanism
Under the new patent law the ambiguities related to the payment of annual fee has been simplified to an extent, as it provides for the payment to be made within 6 months from date of Notification of Allowance, and the fee for the subsequent year is to be made at least 1 month prior to the same date as filing date within subsequent protection period. In case of default on the payment of fee, the patent would be held null and void unless a request is made in writing for a grace period of 12 months to the DGIP.
Apart from the aforementioned key amendments, there are certain other pertinent changes too that are introduced via this new law like-increased obligations of the patent holder; attempt to provide more clarity in respect of compulsory licenses and government uses of patents; bolar provisions; transitional provisions, etc. The new patent law in Indonesia thus acts as a wakeup call for all the economies around the world who aim at growing in a better and effective way by strengthening their laws dealing with intangible assets like IPR.
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