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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Indonesia's new patent law amendments pass

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Indonesia's new patent law was passed by the House of Representatives plenary session at Parliament, Senayan, Jakarta on Thursday 28th July. It replaces the current Law No. 14 of 2001 on Patents. The Bill is expected to come into force and take effect within 30 days. The new law contains various amendments to Indonesia's patent system:

1. Adopting electronic systems to improve patent prosecution along with shorter timeframes for prosecution.
2. Exemption from criminal and civil liability for parallel imports.
3. Expansion of simple patents to include processes.
4. Bolar provisions are expanded to 5 years and protect from civil and criminal liability.
5. Second medical use patents are allowed; also new forms of known compounds provided they increase efficacy.
6. Addition of computer implemented inventions as patentable subject matter.
7. Employee remuneration provisions that balance consideration of the economic benefits of the patent with contractual agreement.
8. Continuation of the controversial working requirements for patents in Indonesia to drive investment and technology transfer.
9. Post grant amendment for errors.
10. Reform of the controversial maintenance and annuity provisions, at least for new patents.
11. More detail on compulsory licensing, specifically licenses for export to disease affected countries.
12. Increases in criminal penalties against patent infringers that cause health harm, environmental damage or death (following the recent health scares)
13. Obligation to disclose clearly the origin of genetic resources and / or traditional knowledge in patent descriptions. This is in line with the Nagoya Protocol to protect Traditional Knowledge and Genetic Resources.

These amendments are largely reasonable and should help Indonesia develop its patent system further. As ever though, implementation is critical.

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