Letters of Consent remain one of the most persuasive and effective strategies for overcoming a citation objection from the Trademarks Registry in many jurisdictions, except for a few jurisdictions such as Indonesia. For the longest time, the Indonesian Trademarks Registry would not accept coexistence agreements and/or consent letters as a means of overcoming a citation objection. This was the case even if the parties were related, affiliated or under the same group.
In a recent development, this issue was discussed at a forum held by the Trademark Registry Office and attended by registered IP consultants, wherein it was confirmed that as part of the new trademark examination practice, examiners are prepared to accept arguments or appeal submissions by considering letters of consent, thereby significantly improving the chances of success of overcoming refusals due to citations. The Trademarks Registry is further looking into the development of a template document, including guidelines for the use thereof.
This new development is undoubtedly a welcome step especially for entities that had been facing difficulties in conveying arguments related to the business relationship with the cited mark proprietor(s), and towards aligning the Indonesian trademark practice with international standards.