Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Coffee dispute is left unresolved

The Kopitiam Employers Association of Indonesia (PPKTI) has been disappointed in its litigation against the KOPITIAM trademark owned by Abdul Alex Soelystio. See here for background. The Central Jakarta Commercial Court decided that the PPKTI has no legal standing as an interested party. They found against PPKTI on an obscure technicality that it could not properly prove its status as a legal entity because it's deed of establishment had not received a proper approval from the Ministry of Justice.

This means that the Plaintiff's claim was not accepted and as such no substantive decision was made on the merits of the case. This not only did PPKTI not have any hearing of its substantive case, but so too Abdul Alex's counterclaim was not decided. It means that the case can be refiled later. Although perhaps PPKTI will appeal.

This is decision is a shame. The judges focused on an irrelevant procedural technicality as opposed to the substantive trademark issues. How the precise legal structure of the Plaintiff's establishment can have any bearing on the descriptiveness of another's trademark is a mystery! In fact this type of decision is a poorly kept secret code. For whatever spurious reason the court clearly wanted to favor Abdul Alex, but they do so by finding for him on a technicality. So they don't actually prohibit the Plaintiff from reapplying later on, presumably after correcting the error. 


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