One important lesson we can learn from the IKEA case that failed to claim its IKEA trademark in a dispute with an Indonesian rattan furniture company is you need to carefully register your brand or trademark if you want to enter the Indonesian market.
Trademark registering can be so tricky and obviously a daunting process in Indonesia, especially if you are a foreigner owning a foreign company, which is relatively new to Indonesia’s business, political, and legal environment. Of course, you refuse to experience a similar thing to the gigantic IKEA Sweden that has all its reputations world-wide, but loses its trademark dispute case against a national rattan furniture company in Indonesia that claimed to have registered IKEA name for its products since IKEA is the acronym of its founder.
Therefore, you absolutely need to reconsider your trademark registration process in Indonesia and choose a reputable market entry consultancy agency to do all the processes on your behalf.
To avoid similar case, there are several things to do by the foreign companies in Indonesia related to trademark registration:
Based on the Law no 15 Year 2011 on Trademark, you need to have your trademark to be registered officially by the Directorate General of Intellectual Property under the Ministry of Law and Human Right. Otherwise, your brand will not be acknowledged in Indonesia.
Because there are so many case worldwide on the failure to win trademark disputes because the trademarks have been used by local companies, such as IKEA in Indonesia, Sony in Japan, Samsung in South Korea, and BMW in Germany, you need to first conduct a research prior to your trademark registration. By doing so, you can consider some alternatives in advance before a big dispute happens. Because trademark registration is a long and tiring process, anticipation and proactive actions can save your time, energy, and money.
You can either do the research personally or as for professional help to do it for you. Remember that this process is usually long, so it is also important that you consider the pending applications. The preliminary search must be conducted with the Trademark Office with the assistance of someone who really understands the bureaucracy and the whole systems.
Because you need to submit your trademark registration document in Bahasa Indonesia, you need to translate your specification of goods and services into Bahasa Indonesia properly. You need to make sure that the translation of your document would be understandable by native Indonesians. Especially to the officials who involve in your trademark registration process.
When filling the trademark registration form, make sure that you fill them all correctly and consistently, including the name and the address of your company. Everything should be matched well with the other documents submitted together with the file.
The font, color, or anything specify in the document should be used as it is. It means that you are not allowed to use a copied mark with black-and-white color. Because the authority might consider that your mark is black and white.
If your trademark is rejected, you can reverse the decisions in the Trademark Appeals Commission. The process will take you 6-9 months.
Because trademark registration is a sensitive issue in any country, it is highly advisable to do it right from the start.