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Subject matters

The patent law defines an invention as the inventor’s idea embodied in any activity of solving a specific problem in the field of technology, either in the form of a product or process, or an improvement and development of a product or a process. Thus, any subject matters that fail to be categorized into the above definition would not be patentable.

As regards business methods and computer programs, the patent law and other regulations relating to patent do not clearly specify the extent to which these subject matters shall be excluded from patentability.  In fact, certain business methods and computer programs have actually had features allowing them to be classified into invention and the patent office have regarded these certain kind of business methods and computer programs as patentable.  The computer programs regarded as patentable by the patent office have been those called by many as “computer implemented invention” and the corresponding claims to such inventions may include the methods, systems, recordable medium involving the programs.


Novelty is one of prerequisites for a grant of patent for a patent application in Indonesia.   The patent law defines that an invention shall be considered novel, if at the date of filing of the application said invention is not the same with any previous technological disclosure (prior art).   The prior art is one which is has been announced (published) in Indonesia or outside Indonesia in writing, by verbal  description or by a demonstration, or in other ways enabling a skilled person to implement the invention before the filing date or the priority date.

Inventive step (obviousness)

Inventive step is one of prerequisites for a grant of patent for a patent application in Indonesia.

Patent law defines that an invention shall be considered to involve an inventive step if the invention is non-obvious to a person having certain skill in the art. Further, the patent law states that the examination for the obviousness of the invention should be made taking into account the skill at the time of the application filed (filing date) or at the time of priority date of the application in the case of applications claimed priority rights.

Nevertheless, based on our experience in patent prosecution before the Indonesian patent office, below will be briefly informed how the patent office deals with inventive step. The principle of examining the inventive step normally consists of three main steps: 1) identifying the closest prior art, 2) formulating the technical problem, and 3) deciding on the obviousness of the invention.

Industrial applicability

The patent law says that a patent shall be granted to an invention which is novel, involve inventive step and is susceptible of industrial application.  Thus, industrial applicability is one prerequisite for a grant of patent for a patent application.

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