Historically, laws and regulations on IPR in Indonesia have been existed since 1840s. The Dutch Colonial Government introduced first law on IPR protection in 1844. Further, Dutch Government enacted Trademark Law (1885), Patent Law (1910), and Copyright Law (1912). Indonesia, formerly known as Netherlands East-Indies has been a member of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property since 1888 and a member of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works since 1914. During Japan colony from 1942 to 1945, aforementioned laws on IPR remained to be valid.

On 17 August 1945 Indonesia proclaimed its independence. As stipulated under the transitional provisions of the 1945 Constitution, all laws and regulations inherited from the Dutch Colonial Government remain to be valid provided that they do not contravene to the 1945 Constitution. Copyright Law and other law from the Dutch Colonial remain to be enforced; however, it does not apply for Patent Law which is deemed to be in contravention to the Indonesian government. As specified under the Dutch Colonial Patent Law, patent application may be filed to the Patent Office located in Batavia (now Jakarta), but the examination to that patent application must be conducted in the Octrooiraad in the Netherlands.

In 1953 the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Indonesia released an announcement which considered to be the first national instrument governing patent, which is Announcement of the Minister of Justice Number J.S. 5/41/4 regulating temporary filing of domestic patent application and the Announcement of the Minister of Justice Number J.G. 1/2/17 regulating temporary filing of patent application from overseas.

On 11 October 1961 the Government of the Republic of Indonesia promulgated the Law Number 21 of 1961 regarding Factory Mark and Trade Mark (Trademark Law 1961) to replace the Trademark Law of Dutch Colonial. Trademark Law 1961 constitutes the first Indonesian IP law. According to Article 24 of the Law Number 21 of 1961 which states “ The law herein may be named the Trademark Law 1961 and is enter into force one month after its promulgation”. The law came into force on 11 November 1961. The enactment of Trademark Law 1961 was intended to provide protection for the society from fake/pirated goods. Currently, 11 November as the date when the Law Number 21 of 1961 was entry into force is stipulated as the National IP Day.

On 10 May 1979 Indonesia ratified the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Stockholm Revision 1967) by the Presidential Decree Number 24 of 1979. At that time Indonesia had not fully participated to the Paris Convention since we made some reservation to certain provisions namely Article 1 to Article 12 and Article 28 section (1).

On 12 April 1982 the Government enacted the Law Number 6 of 1982 on Copyright (Copyright Law 1982) to replace the Copyright law of Dutch Colony. The enactment of this law was intended to encourage and protect works, dissemination of cultural works in science, arts, and literature as well as to accelerate the growth of nation’s ingenuity

In 1986 can be claimed to be the beginning of modern era for IPR system in Indonesia. On 23 July 1986 the President of the Republic of Indonesia established specific team on IPR by the Decree Number 34/1986 (this Team is renowned as Team of Presidential Decree 34). The main task of Team of Presidential Decree 34 comprised of the formulation of national policies in IPR, drafting laws and regulation in IPR, and campaigning IPR system to relevant government institutions, legal enforcers apparatus, and public in general. Further Team of Presidential Decree 34 made a number of breakthrough, such as taking new initiative in handling national debate regarding the importance of patent system in Indonesia. After the Team of Presidential Decree 34 re-revised the Draft of Patent Law which was finalized in 1982, finally in 1989 the Government enacted Patent Law.

On 19 September 1987 the Government enacted the Law Number 7 of 1987 as amendment to Law Number 12 of 1982 on Copyright. Under the elucidation of Law Number 7 of 1987 it was clearly stated that the amendment of Law Number 12 of 1982 was carried out due to the escalating copyright infringement that could harm social live and undermine public creativity.

Following its enactment, the Government signed a number of bilateral agreement in copyright as the implementation of the Law.

In 1988 based on the Presidential Decree Number 32 the Directorate General of Copyright, Patent, and Trademark (DG of CPT) was established to take over the functions and tasks of the Directorate of Patent and Copyright which constituted to be one of echelon II unit under the Directorate General of Laws and Regulations, Department of Justice.

On 13 October 1989 the House of Representatives approved the Draft Law on Patent, which was further enacted to be Law Number 6 of 1989 (Patent Law 1989) by the President of the Republic of Indonesia on 1 November 1989. Patent Law 1989 came into force on 1 August 1991. The enactment of Patent Law 1989 ended the long dispute on the importance of patent system and its benefit to the nation. As stated under the consideration of Patent Law 1989, legal instrument on patent is necessary to provide legal protection and establish better environment to technology invention activities. It is due to general national development and particularly in the industrial sector, technology has eminent role. The enactment of the law was also intended to draw foreign investment and facilitate access on technology. Nevertheless, it is emphasized that such efforts to develop IP system, including patent, in Indonesia was not merely because of international pressure, but also because of national needs to create an effective IPR protection system.

On 28 August 1992 the Government enacted the Law Number 19 of 1992 on Trademark (Trademark Law 1992) which was enter into force on 1 April 1993. Trademark Law 1992 replaced Trademark Law 1961. On 15 April 1994 the Government signed the Final Act Embodying the Result of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, covering the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS Agreement).

In the next three years, in 1997 the government revised IP instruments, which are Copyright Law 1987 jo. Law Number 6 of 1982, Patent Law 1989, and Copyright Law 1992.

At the end of 2000, three new IP laws were enacted which were Law Number 30 of 2000 on Trade Secret, Law Number 31 of 2000 on Industrial Design, and Law Number 32 of 2000 on Integrated Circuit Layout Design.

In its effort to harmonize all laws and regulations in IP to the TRIPS Agreement, in 2001 the Government enacted the Law Number 14 of 2001 on Patent, and Law Number 15 of 2001 on Trademark. Both laws replaced previous relevant laws. In the mid of 2002 the Copyright Law replaced previous law and was entry into force a year after its promulgation.

Note: Changes of nomenclature from Department of Law and Human Rights to Ministry of Law and Human Rights is based on the Ministerial Regulation Number M.HH-02.OT.01.01 of 2011 on Adjustment of Using Title of Ministry of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia.

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