Can I Trademark My Face in Indonesia?
One of the unique things we have as a human is our different faces. Starting from the shape of our eyes, nose, lips, cheekbones, skin color, mustache, and eyebrows, it makes our face different and has its charm. Considering that being distinctive is also one of the requirements for Trademark registration. It is not uncommon for us, as well as other world citizens, to think about registering our face as a Trademark. But can it be registered? Any Trademarks that feature famous faces already come up in your mind? This article will explain.
According to Article 1 of Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 20 of 2016 concerning Trademarks and Geographical Indications (Trademarks & Geographical Indications Law), a Trademark is a sign that can be displayed graphically in the form of an image, logo, name, word, letter, number, color arrangement, in the shape of 2 (two) dimensions and/or 3 (three) dimensions, sound, hologram, or a combination of 2 (two) or more of these elements to differentiate goods and/or services produced by individuals or legal entities in trading activities of goods and/or services.
Because images and photographs include visual graphics, the appearance of a face as a Trademark can be registered in Indonesia as long as it does not conflict with what is stated in Article 21 of the Trademark & Geographical Indications Law, namely that it has not been registered or applied for by another party and is not the same or resembles a photo of a famous person, except with the written consent of the entitled person.
Famous Trademarks with Face
The rules are different abroad, such as in the United States and the European Union, where there is a strict prohibition on registering faces as trademarks. Recently, in the European Union, registering a Trademark with the picture of a famous model from the Netherlands, Puck Schrover, was rejected. Although the face is well known in the fashion industry, European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) examiners considered that the uniqueness of the face alone needed to be more distinctive as a Trademark because it could be a photographic representation of any woman.
However, if the face is present as an illustration, such as Colonel Sanders for the KFC or the face of a woman with long hair and “tentacles” for the Starbucks Coffee, it is considered unique and can be registered.
Meanwhile, in Indonesia, we know several registered Trademarks with faces and photos of people, such as Nyonya Meneer herbal drink (registration date: IDM000766048), Ayam Goreng Suharti (IDM000868681), Mbok Sarun fried chicken (IDM000828965), and Mbok Lindu gudeg (traditional Javanese cuisine, IDM001010038) Likewise, several service marks for alternative medicine use photos of their owners.
Face and Corporate Image
In conclusion, using a face or passport picture is possible and legal if used as a Trademark in Indonesia. But are you ready to commit lifelong by putting your face on every product and/or service you have?
Because then, you must maintain your behavior and always be in the best image so the Trademark that reflects your professionalism is not disturbed. Because it is possible once you get into trouble, the lousy impact will also damage your Trademark.
However, if you are ready, take action as soon as possible to apply for the registration because the first-to-file principle applies in Indonesia. Don’t let your already phenomenal business, which resembles your image, be registered first by other irresponsible parties.
Should you have any questions or need more information regarding registering your face as a Trademark in Indonesia or abroad, please contact us via [email protected].