Indonesia’s Directorate General of Intellectual Property issued a notice on December 28, 2017, addressing the revival of null and void patents. The notice allows patent holders, licensees, and intellectual property consultants to revive patents that have lapsed due to non-payment of annuities.
It is now possible to revive a lapsed patent by completing payment of annuity fees that were not paid on time according to the law. In order to do so, the patent holder must submit a declaration stating that they will not take any legal action against another party for infringement of the revived patent during the lapsed period.
There is no explanation as to whether third parties must immediately cease practicing a previously lapsed patent once it has been revived, or whether the patent owner would have the ability to take legal action against such a third party for ongoing infringement once the patent has been revived.
This notice leaves serious concerns about what happens to third parties who have started lawfully using a patent after it has lapsed. Since no further detail on this notice is available, the business implications for such third parties could be tremendous.
For holders of lapsed patents, however, the ability to recover such rights is a significant opportunity. Patent owners should therefore review their patent portfolios in Indonesia and assess whether to take advantage of this new opportunity to revive lapsed patents.