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Internet Giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. Wins Key Trademark Case in Indonesia
One of the largest Internet companies in the world, Tencent Holdings has won an important trademark victory in Indonesia in a recently announced decision, securing the cancellation of conflicting trademarks that risked public confusion.
On September 5, 2012, Tencent sued an Indonesian businessman who had registered three “QQ” related trademarks, alleging that the registrations were made in bad faith and that because Tencent was the first registrant in Indonesia of the “QQ” trademarks for the goods and services in question, the defendant’s trademark registrations should be cancelled by the Indonesian Trademark Office.
The case was litigated in Indonesia by Januar Jahja & Partners (JJP), a boutique intellectual property law firm based in Jakarta, Indonesia, specializing in trademark litigation. Mr. Januar Jahja, the firm’s managing partner with over 35 years experience in Indonesian intellectual property law, applauded the Court’s decision, stating: “The evidence was very clear: Tencent was the first registrant in Indonesia of the “QQ” mark for the goods and services at issue. The defendant’s marks are similar to Tencent’s prior registrations and cover similar goods. Under Indonesian law, the later registrations must be cancelled. The Court was absolutely right in its decision.” The firm was assisted by Singapore counsel K.L. Tan & Associates, a boutique law firm specializing in intellectual property law.
In ruling in favor of Tencent on all counts, the Jakarta Commercial Court found as a matter of fact that Tencent had the first registration for “QQ” in Indonesia for the goods and services at issue (in Class 9 under the “Nice Classification System”), as well as numerous registrations for this mark throughout the world. Because Indonesia is a first-to-file jurisdiction, the Court ruled that Tencent is the first owner and registrant of the “QQ” mark in Indonesia.
The Court also declared that “QQ” should be considered a well-known trademark in Indonesia, in accordance with Article 6(1) of the Indonesian Trademark Law (No. 15/2001), based upon the substantial amount of evidence submitted by Tencent.
Further, because the defendant filed his trademark applications approximately five years after Tencent first filed its own “QQ” applications in Indonesia, and that the trademarks were visually similar and covered similar goods, the Court ruled that the defendant’s marks were not entitled to legal protection in Indonesia. Coupled with the Court’s ruling that Tencent’s “QQ” mark was well known, the Court declared that the defendant had filed its marks in bad faith.
Due to a real risk of confusion among consumers, the Court ordered that the defendant’s “QQ” trademark registrations be cancelled by the Indonesian Trademark Office and published in the Official Gazette as cancelled marks.
The decision has been appealed by the defendant to the Indonesian Supreme Court for review.
About Tencent Holdings, Ltd.:
Tencent Holdings, Ltd. (http://www.tencent.com/
About Januar Jahja & Partners:
Januar Jahja & Partners (http://www.jahja.com) is a boutique intellectual property law firm based in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Firm has over 25 years experience handling all aspects of intellectual property law, including trademark and patent prosecution as well as IP-related litigation and other contentious matters, and provides legal services and counsel to well-known international businesses as well as leading Indonesian companies.
About K.L. Tan & Associates:
K L Tan & Associates (http://www.kltan.com.sg/