Indonesia has caused a stir in the patent world by asking patent owners to pay annuities for patents they no longer want – see here for previous background.
The new law put an end to the issue at least going forwards. However the government seems to be pushing ahead with trying to force patent owners to pay old annuity debts. The rule was that for unpaid annuities, after 3 years the patent was deemed void, but the annuities were still payable. The only way around it was to notify of the abandonment. But the unpaid annuities became a debt. The patent office issued letters of demand, and the debts were transferred to KPNL a state body with responsibility for recovering them.
In September 2018 the Patent Office wrote to many patent owners copying embassies. A 6 month payment deadline was given. The threat was that they would no longer examine their patent applications if patentees did not pay the old debts.
What happens next is anyone’s guess. Indonesia is the only country in the world applying such a draconian interpretation of annuities. Recognizing that this was inappropriate, it was ceased under the new law. But for some reason they are insisting on pursuing the old debts. We assume diplomatic complaints will soon follow.