Januar Jahja & Partners

Januar Jahja & Partners Attorneys Quoted on Compulsory Licenses Issued by Indonesian Government

Januar Jahja & Attorneys Quoted on Compulsory Licenses Issued by Indonesian Government

Several intellectual property (IP) attorneys at Januar Jahja & Partners (JJP) were quoted in the November 2012 issue of Asia IP magazine on the recent compulsory licenses issued by the Indonesian Government for a number of patented HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B drugs. The article, entitled “More Generic Drugs for Indonesian Public,” featured quotes from Januar Jahja, Andrew Diamond and Prudence Jahja—managing partner, foreign legal consultant, and associate, respectively, at JJP—on the reasons behind, and likely impact of, the decree quietly issued by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in September 2012.

Citing Indonesian Patent Law No. 14/2001, the “Presidential Decree Regarding Patent Exploitation of the Antiviral and Antiretroviral Drugs” (No. 76 of 2012) authorizes the Indonesian Government to use patents on seven HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B drugs currently held by such pharmaceutical companies as GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb, citing the “urgent need for antiviral and antiretroviral treatments.” It states that these companies will receive 0.5 percent of the net sales revenues of the generic drugs in the form of royalty payments. The decree follows similar but more limited compulsory licenses issued by the Indonesian Government in 2004 and 2007, which “are already no longer sufficient as [a] legal basis for implementing policies” to control HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B in Indonesia.

Mr. Jahja was quoted on the reasons behind the decision, namely the high number of Indonesian citizens currently affected by HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis B. Mr. Jahja further noted the fact that countries such as Thailand, India and China have “established compulsory licensing regimes,” and that “Indonesia’s decision clearly establishes a trend among Asian nations to use compulsory licenses to address pressing public health issues.”

Mr. Diamond, the consultant, noted that the decree would likely have little to no “effect on the availability of counterfeit drugs in Indonesia” due to their current widespread availability. However, Mr. Diamond stated that by using the powers under the decree to manufacture generic versions of the seven patented drugs, it was possible that access to genuine versions of the drugs could actually increase “through established government channels, such as government-run hospitals or health centres.”

Ms. Jahja, an associate at JJP, questioned the overall impact of the decree on “the day-to-day practice of patent law in Indonesia,” while acknowledging its importance to Indonesians suffering from HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis B and its negative effect on the patent holders themselves. Ms. Jahja noted that despite the decree, the Indonesian Government continues to place importance on the further development of the country’s patent system and that “Current and prospective patent holders should continue to look to Indonesia as an important jurisdiction [in which] to register and enforce their patents.”

An English language version of the decree can be found here.

About Januar Jahja & Partners

Januar Jahja & Partners (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 IP-related litigation, and provides legal services and counsel to well- known international businesses as well as leading Indonesian companies.

About Asia IP

Asia IP (www.asiaiplaw.com) is a specialist monthly magazine that provides in-depth and indispensable coverage of the key IP challenges that companies can face when investing and doing business in Asia, and the solutions that are available.