The world of global trade has grown rapidly, thus opening up opportunities for foreign businesses to expand their business to international markets. Indonesia is one of the destination markets for foreign businesses. In order for their business to develop in Indonesia, it is necessary to register a business trademark by foreign busineses.

The trademark itself is often interpreted as an identifier or differentiator of a product in the marketing process. This does not only apply to local products but also to foreign products that want to market their products in Indonesia. The definition of the trademark itself according to Law Number 20 of 2016 concerning Marks and Geographical Indications, are:

“Mark means any sign capable of being represented graphically in the form of drawings, logos, names, words, letters, numerals, colors arrangement, in 2 (two) and/or 3 (three) dimensional shape, sounds, holograms, or combination of 2 (two) or more of those elements to distinguish goods and/or services produced by a person or legal entity in trading goods and/or services.”

In terms of the implementation of a Trademark in the trade of goods and/or services, the Trademark has an economic value that is protected based on the owner of the right to the Trademark. As regulated in Article 1 Paragraph (5) rights to a trademark are defined as:

“Rights to Marks are exclusive rights granted by the state to owners of registered Marks for a certain period of time by using the said Mark themselves or giving permission to other parties to use them.”

According to the above definition, it can be understood that the right to a trademark is territorial, this right can be seen through the sentence of exclusive rights granted by the state. So that in order for a foreign business’ trademark to be protected and used in Indonesia, it is necessary to register the trademark.

The trademark registration process has been clearly regulated in Article 4 paragraphs (1) and (2) of the Marks and Geographical Indications Law, which explains that:

  1. An application for registration of a Mark shall be submitted by the Applicant or his Proxy to the Minister electronically or non-electronically in the Indonesian language.
  2. The Application as referred to in paragraph (1) must include:
  3. The date, month, and year of the Application;
  4. Full name, nationality, and address of the Applicant;
  5. Full name and address of the Proxy if the Application is submitted through a proxy;
  6. Color if the Mark for which registration is being applied uses color elements;
  7. The name of the country and the date of the first application for the Mark in the event that the Application is filed with Priority Right;
  8. Class of goods and/or class of services as well as a description of the types of goods and/or types of services.

Apart from the process of registering a trademark, in the case that the it is a foreign business wanting to register their trademark in Indonesia, as has been regulated in Article 7 Paragraphs (1) and (2) of the Marks and Geographical Indications Law, the following provision applies:

  1. Applications and matters relating to the administration of Marks submitted by applicants who reside or have permanent domicile outside the territory of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia must be submitted through a proxy.
  2. The applicant as referred to in paragraph (1) must state and choose the address of the Proxy as legal domicile in Indonesia.

Thus it can be understood that foreign businesses can get protection for the trademark they own and run their business with it, so long as that foreign business has a proxy to represent them to register their trademarks in Indonesia, which according to the regulations, has to be an Indonesian citizen and domiciled in Indonesia.

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