Use It or Lose It

By Putu Doni WD.

In the current global trade of goods and services, having a trademark is a crucial element for businesses. Among other things, a trademark serves as something to identify with, particularly when it comes to promotional material or as a source of products. Given how significant a trademark is in commercial activity, if you’re the owner of one, you should consider seeking legal protection on the trademark to avoid any harm that may affect your business in the years to come.

Trademark protection in Indonesia comes after registration, as mentioned in Article 3 of Law No. 20 of 2016 on Mark and Geographical Indication (MGI), which regulates that Rights on a Mark are derived following registration; that’s why it’s so important to have your trademark registered.

However, it’s important to also note that a registered trademark can be revoked by a third party if  the trademark in question hasn’t been used for a long time. For a trademark to be revoked there has to be the filing of a lawsuit in Commercial Court, where the plaintiff will have the burden of proof to show that a registered trademark has not been in use for three consecutive years from the date of registration, or from its last use (Article 74 Sub 1 of Law on MGI).

A non-use cancellation is not applicable if the following conditions occur:

  • Import embargo,
  • Restrictions in connection with the permits of product distribution using the respective Trademark or a temporary decision from an authorized institution, or,
  • Other similar restrictions stipulated with Government Regulation (Article 74 Sub 2 of Law on MGI.)

An example of a non-use cancellation case can be seen in Decision Number 21/Merek/2012/ PN.NIAGA.JKT.PST, between PT. Cakra Eka Mulia as the Plaintiff and Hengki Arifin as the Defendant.

The Defendant was the proprietor of a Trademark with registration number IDM000159262 that was registered in class 30 on April 16th, 2008.

The Plaintiff in one of its arguments stated that “the Defendant never used its registered trademark for three years consecutively.”

After taking everything into account, the Commercial Court at the Central Jakarta District Court finally took a decision and stated that the defendant’s registered trademark was not in use for three consecutive years in trade activity of goods and/ or services since the date it was registered.

As a result, the Court decided to revoke the respective registered trademark and instructed the Indonesia Trademark Office (TMO) to announce it in the Trademark Gazette.

Against this decision, the Defendant filed an appeal to the Indonesia Supreme Court, but it was rejected (Supreme Court Decision Number 754 K/Pdt.Sus/2012).

The bottom line is that Trademarks do not last forever, so if you’ve gone to the trouble of registering one, you should make every effort to use it. If you don’t, for whatever reasons, you can be challenged in court and your rights to it can be legally revoked.


  • Law No.20 of 2016 on Mark and Geographical Indication;
  • Commercial Court at Central Jakarta District Court Decision Number 21/Merek/2012/ PN.NIAGA.JKT.PST;
  • Supreme Court Decision Number 754 K/Pdt.Sus/2012.
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Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Andrzej is Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia. He was born in the UK to Polish parents and has been living in Indonesia for more than 33-years. He is a skilled writer, trainer and marketer with a deep understanding of Indonesia and its many cultures after spending many years travelling across the archipelago from North Sumatra to Irian Jaya.

His experience covers Marketing, Branding, Advertising, Publishing, Real Estate and Training for 5-Star Hotels and Resorts in Bali and Jakarta, which has given him a passion for the customer experience. He’s a published author and a regular contributor to local and regional publications. His interests include conservation, eco-conscious initiatives, spirituality and motorcycles. Andrzej speaks English and Indonesian.

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Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Terje is from Norway and has been living in Indonesia for over 20-years. He first came to Indonesia as a child and after earning his degree in Business Administration from the University of Agder in Norway, he moved to Indonesia in 1993, where he has worked in leading positions in education and the fitness/ wellness industries all over Indonesia including Jakarta, Banjarmasin, Medan and Bali.

He was Co-owner and CEO of the Paradise Property Group for 10-years and led the company to great success. He is now Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia offering market entry services for foreign investors, legal advice, sourcing of investments and in particular real estate investments. He has a soft spot for eco-friendly and socially sustainable projects and investments, while his personal business strengths are in property law, tourism trends, macroeconomics, Indonesian government and regulations. His personal interests are in sport, adventure, history and spiritual experiences.

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Ridwan is one of Indonesia’s top executives with a long and illustrious career in the financial world. He holds several professional certifications including being a Certified Business Valuer (CBV) issued by the Australian Academy of Finance and Management; Broker-Dealer Representative (WPPE); and The Directorship Certification for Directors and Commissioners, issued by the Indonesian Institute of Commissioners and Directors.

His experience includes being the Managing Director at one of the top investment banking groups in the region, the Recapital Group, the CFO at State-owned enterprises in fishery industry and the CEO at Tanri Abeng & Son Holding. He’s also been an Independent Commissioner in several Financial Service companies and on the Audit and Risk Committee at Bank BTPN Tbk, Berau Coal Energy Tbk, Aetra Air Jakarta as well as working for Citibank, Bank Mandiri and HSBC. His last position was as CFO at PT Citra Putra Mandiri – OSO Group.

Ridwan has won a number of prestigious awards including the Best CFO Awards 2019 (Institute of Certified Management Accountant Australia-Indonesia); Asia Pacific Young Business Leader awarded by Asia 21 Network New York USA (Tokyo 2008); UK Alumni Business Awards 2008 awarded by the British Council; and The Most Inspiring Human Resources Practitioners’ version of Human Capital Magazine 2010.

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Per is the Managing Director of the Seven Stones Indonesia (SSI) Jakarta office and has more than 25-years’ experience in Indonesia, China, and Western Europe. He previously worked in senior management positions with Q-Free ASA, Siemens AG, and other companies in the telecom sector. Over the last six years, he has been the Chairman of the Indonesia-Norway Business Council (INBC) and recently become elected to be on the board of EuroCham Indonesia.

His most recent experience is within Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS), Telecom, and other sectors within the Indonesian market. He is today through his position in SSI and by representing Norway Connect, promoting Nordic and European companies that would like to explore business opportunities in the Indonesian market. He’s also playing an active role to help create the Nordic House concept in Jakarta that will provide an excellent platform for Nordic companies entering Indonesia, where they’ll find a community that can offer support with trusted information and affordable services to enter this market.