One of the reasons a party files a patent is to gain exclusive rights so that its innovations are not exploited by others. However, since the patent registration procedure is prolonged, these registration application materials occasionally leak or slip into the hands of third parties. Even if the application procedure is an inevitable starting step, this is highly adverse to the Inventor and Applicant as a candidate for a patent recipient.
The Application, as referred to in section (1), is filed by the Applicant or their Proxy to the Minister in writing in the Indonesian language and with a fee payment. Every Application is filed for one Invention or a group of Inventions linked to each other.
Furthermore, based on Article 25 Paragraph (2) of Law Number 13 of 2016 on Patent as last amended by Law Number 11 of 2020 on Job Creation (“Patent Act”), the Application must be accompanied by the following requirements:
- Title of the Invention;
- A description of the Invention;
- Claim or claims of the Invention;
- Abstract of the invention;
- The pictures mentioned in the description are needed to clarify the Invention if an image accompanies the Application;
- Power of attorney if the application is submitted through a proxy;
- Statement of ownership of the Invention by the Inventor;
- A letter of transfer of ownership of an Invention if the Application is filed by an Applicant who is not an Inventor; and
- Proof of storage of microorganisms if the Application is related to microorganisms.
All Application documents, from the Filing Date to the announcement date of the Application, are confidential, except for the Inventor, who does not act as the Applicant. Everyone is obliged to maintain the confidentiality of all Application documents. Furthermore, under Article 1 Number (13) of the Patent Law, a person means an individual or a legal entity.
Legal Consequences of Leaking Patent Images in Indonesia
According to the preceding description, the patent image, one of the documents attached to the patent application requirements, is confidential to the public. However, the leak of patent images appears to be relatively common, with numerous news organizations competing to leak it, as happened in the automotive industry.
In terms of legal repercussions, positive Indonesian law has established further regulation in Article 164 of the Patent Law, which is as follows:
“Any person who deliberately and without rights breaks the confidentiality of an Application document as referred to in Article 45 section (1) is sentenced to imprisonment for a maximum of 2 (two) years.”
As a result, willful and unintentional patent infringement, in this example, disclosing a confidential patent application document, may result in a prison sentence.
Patent images and designs that have leaked information and are still being submitted might create opportunities for rivals to develop items of the same class, either by duplication or with particular alterations. Furthermore, the leak of patent photos might have a detrimental impact on the patent’s protection, which should be able to safeguard the Inventor’s ideas and concepts. As a result, if this occurs, the Inventor or Applicant has the right to initiate legal action as the party harmed by the infringement.
Legal Consequences of Overseas Patent Infringement
According to the Directorate General of Intellectual Property of Indonesia (DJKI), if the infringement appears on the patent comes from outside the nation, a complaint can be made to the government that granted the patent protection. If the protection has not been filed to the DJKI and the Inventor or Applicant is dissatisfied, they might report it to the nation protecting the patent and file a lawsuit or prosecute it. As a result, it is required to guarantee that the patent image that will be widely distributed to the public has received clearance from the Inventor or Applicant and that it is permitted under the relevant legislation in that country to disseminate the patent image that is still in the process of being filed.
It is necessary to ensure the legitimate information about patent images in the automotive industry through the media, such as the 2023 Honda CR-V, an electric car launched by Apple with sunroof technology, Honda’s sports motorbike equipped with a drone, and other automotive products, according to applicable law. The nation protects the patent by considering the date of notification via the official website of the country’s Patent Office.
Thus, leaking patent images as part of a patent application for documents that cannot be disclosed and are confidential violates the law that will undoubtedly harm both the Inventor and the Applicant. As a result, anybody, including persons and corporate entities, who violated the law’s need to protect the secrecy of patent papers must face legal repercussions in the form of imprisonment, as outlined in Article 164 of the Patent Law.
The Inventor and Applicant may then prosecute or file a lawsuit against the infringing party having jurisdiction in another country for patent infringement committed abroad if there is a leak of the patent application document, which is considered an act contrary to positive law in the country that protects the patent.
With this understanding, we hope that media partners will be more cautious in releasing news about designs or patent images that have not been officially published by the owner, as they may be subject to legal sanctions, even if this information was obtained from other publically accessible sites, both locally and internationally.
If you seek information on patent protection or additional assistance on reporting on unpublished patent registration application materials, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org