Tuesday, December 16, 2008

HABITAT Patent Case

The Legal Battle between PT. ESPI Swindat Pacific and PT. Hot-Hed Indonesia seems to be escalating from a Criminal Prosecution about Trademark at the District Court of South Jakarta, into a Civil Lawsuit about Patent at the Commercial Court of Central Jakarta.

According to Hukumonline, PT Hot-Hed Indonesia has submitted a Civli Lawsuit against PT ESPI at the Commercial Court of Central Jakarta, to claim for the Patent Right on an Invention titled HABITAT i.e. a Space specially designed for Under Sea Welding.
As the ground for said Claim is the certificate of Patent granted by the Indonesian Directorate of Patent in 1996 to Hot-Hed Inc. U.S.A (owner of PT Hot-Hed Indonesia).
And according to the Patent Law No. 14 Year 2001 Article 16 Par.1, a Holder of a Patent has an Exclusive Right to execute the Patent and to forbid others from doing the same without its approval. Beside that the Patent HABITAT has been registered in the USA since 1991.
As Plaintiff, PT Hot-Het accused PT ESPI of illegally using the HABITAT technology without obtaining prior approval from PT Hot-Hed. Due to this allegation, PT Hot-Hed claimed PT ESPI to pay a compensation amounting to US$ 3,4 million for the losess it has sufferred.
Meanwhile, the attorney of PT. ESPI i.e. Fahmi Assegaf questioned the Plaintiff's eligibility to file the Patent Lawsuit, considering the fact that the Patent Holder of HABITAT is Hot-Hed Inc USA, not the Plaintiff (PT. Hot-Hed Indonesia). He said that if the Palintiff is a holder of a Licence of HABITAT, it should register said Lisence in Indonesia, which they did not. Further, he denied that HABITAT is not an Invention, in stead it is a Public Domain. This is proven by the fact that in the past PT. Hot-Hed's reports to the Police regarding Patent violation has been ignored.

While the Civil Lawsuit is being tried by the Commercial Court of Central Jakarta, we can only hope that the Council of Judges would eventually pass a Fair Judgement according to the Patent Law, This is necessary because the rival parties are foreigners, therefore any discrepancy would mar our Court's image which is certainly not good at a time when we badly need foreign investors.


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