Most cases of Indonesian trademark infringement matters are filed through a direct formal complaint to the National Police Unit. Not many cases are filed through Directorate General of Intellectual Property (“DGIP”) even though such a mechanism is allowed under the Trademark Law No. 20 of 2016. Specifically, Article 99 in Chapter XVII of Trademark Law No. 20 of 2016 states that “Aside from the investigator officers of State National Police of the Republic of Indonesia, specific civil servant investigator within the ministry administering government affairs in the legal field are authorized as investigators as referred to in the Law on criminal procedures to conduct investigation in Mark criminal acts”.
This provision allows for an investigator from the DGIP to follow up on all the complaints submitted. They have the powers to examine the case, summon the related parties, investigate the evidence and related documentation, search or raid on the crime scene premise, confiscate the suspected items, and so on. They are also able to request for the police unit to assist in the case. These investigators are therefore able to find out whether the mark or goods involved are infringing other party’s rights and/or are subject to criminal sanction as per Article 100 of the Trademark Law No. 20 of 2016.
Further, there is also a feature on the DGIP’S website (https://e-pengaduan.dgip.go.id/ ) that enables trademark owners to complain about any potential infringements to their marks directly to DGIP itself.
The trademark owner would have to complete several forms to the DGIP in order to complete the complaint. There does not appear to be any costs incurred by the trademark owner in submitting such a complaint.
The complaint can be made by either the trademark owners themselves, its authorized proxy, or a local licensee of the said trademark. The form also requires details such as the identity of the suspected infringer, where the trademark infringement has taken place, time of the trademark infringement (in this case the time of purchasing the counterfeit products or time of spotting the products by taking photos), information about any witnesses to the trademark infringement etc. Once the relevant form has been completed and submitted, the complainant will be able to receive the progress of the case from the DGIP website itself.
We are of the view that this is an effective solution for parties who do not want to rely on lawyers, but instead, would like to manage their trademark infringement matters by themselves.
However, lawyers will still remain necessary once the investigations have been completed. Any subsequent action to the case (e.g. summons from Commercial Court if the case proceeds to trial) will still necessitate proper legal advice from lawyers.