Advised by our office in Indonesia*,  GS Yuasa Corporation (a Japanese car and motorcycle battery manufacturer) has succeeded in two Supreme Court cases to stop third parties from using trademarks that are similar to their well-known GS mark for batteries. Both Defendants are not using their registered mark in accordance to its registration but in fact, they are copying the design of GS Yuasa Corporation's packaging.

In the first case, the Plaintiff succeeded in cancelling an Indonesian individual, Yudhi Tanto, who registered a series of GS Garuda Sakti marks (under Registration Nos. IDM000026703, IDM000174207, IDM000174208, IDM000174209 and IDM000174210) and used the same for batteries (Case No. 55 K/Pdt.Sus-HKI/2015 cq. No. 24/Pdt.Sus-Merek/2014/PN.Niaga.Jkt.Pst)

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The Supreme Court rejected the Defendant's argument that Garuda Sakti was sufficient to distinguish the marks and found bad faith.

In the other case, GS Yuasa Corporation also cancelled PT Gramitrama Battery Indonesia's (a local company) registration for GiSi mark under No. IDM000342727 (renewal of No. 529889).

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Both cases by the Supreme Court are a welcome indication that it is possible to defeat trademark pirates in Indonesia who often try to take advantage of the goodwill built-up by well-known brands by making slight cosmetic alternations to the local mark or packaging.