The Effect of the Issuance of Presidential Regulation No. 63 of 2019 on the Use of Indonesian Language for Trademarks Owned by the Indonesian Citizens and/or Indonesian Legal Entities

The President of Indonesia finally issued the Presidential Regulation No. 63 of 2019 on the Use of Indonesian Language (Regulation 63/2019) on 30 September 2019 in order to replace the Presidential regulation No. 16 of 2010 on the Use of Indonesian Language in the Official Speech of President and/or Vice President along with other State Officials, and to support the Law No. 24 of 2009 regarding the National Flag, Language, Coat of Arms and Anthem (Language Law 24/2009).

In view of the above matter, the most interesting part for the Intellectual Property stakeholders is that a trademark is also regulated under Regulation 63/2019. Specifically, in Article 35 of Regulation 63/2019, there is an obligation to use Indonesian language for trademarks that owned by the Indonesian citizens and/or Indonesian Legal entities. In this case, the meaning of the said provision is that all Indonesian citizens and/or Indonesian legal entities should file their trademarks in Indonesian language instead of using foreign language as a trademark except for the trademarks that are licensed from foreign parties or the foreign language has a historical, cultural, customs and/or religious value, they may file their trademarks in Indonesian language. Thus, if this regulation is applied to the Indonesian Trademark Office (TMO), all trademark applications owned by Indonesian citizens and/or Indonesian legal entities that are not in Indonesian language should be rejected by the TMO.

However, it should be noted that the above provision is already regulated under the Language Law 24/2009 in Article 36 Paragraph (3) which has come into force since 9 July 2009 and up to this present moment, the TMO never conforms to the said provision. Hence, all trademark applications in foreign language owned by the Indonesian citizens and/or Indonesian legal entities can be registered in the TMO as long as they do not violate the Trademark Law No. 15 of 2001 and Trademark and Geographical Indication Law No. 20 of 2016. Furthermore, the enforcement of Regulation 63/2019 is still in question due to lack of sanctions for failure to comply with its provisions. Therefore, we assume that the Indonesian citizens and/or Indonesian legal entities still can submit their trademarks in foreign language as before the issuance of Regulation 63/2019.

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