Civil trade mark infringement in Indonesia

Soeharso, an Indonesian businessman had owned the mark OBOR in class 30 since 1990 and gave a 4 year licence to Gunadi Prasetyo (the first Defendant) to use the trade mark on rice and sugar products. The Defendants included Lion a well-known local supermarket. The plaintiff claimed Gunardi and Lion continued to produce and sell rice products under the OBOR trade mark after the license had expired. No royalties had been paid. 

The Defendants tried to argue that the claim was premature since there was another pending case over validity of the mark brought by another party.  However, the Semarang Commercial Court granted parts of the Plaintiff's claims. He was exclusive owner of the OBOR trademark and the Defendants committed infringing acts by using the mark without authorization. The Defendants were ordered to pay damages and stop their activities in relation to the mark.

The Defendants filed an Appeal, which was rejected by the Supreme Court. A further Reconsideration Appeal filed by the Plaintiff was also rejected.

The case shows how local parties often bring infringement cases more readily than foreign companies. It also shows there are courts outside Jakarta able to hear and deal with IP cases. 

Perhaps the most important element was the damages claim. The claim for IDR10.5 Billion (USD750,000) was rejected outright. The lower court ordered a far lesser sum of IDR75 million (USD6,000), however the Supreme court threw even this out. Damages claims remain tricky. Whilst crazy sums as here are commonly claimed, low awards are usually made by courts. Real evidence of losses must be provided to win any money.