A Belgian entrepreneur set up a local food processing operation called ‘BE Food’ in Indonesia. One of their plant managers developed an innovation to the existing raw material cleaning process. The Belgian entrepreneur, believing that BE Food could commercialise this process by manufacturing equipment with this innovation, offered a reward-sharing scheme and brought the plant manager to an attorney to discuss future contractual arrangements, as the existing employment agreement was silent on ownership of intellectual property in inventions.
In the meantime, the plant manager secretly instructed a patent attorney to apply for a patent in his own name. The patent was drafted by a local attorney in the Indonesian language (Bahasa Indonesia).
As soon as the Belgian entrepreneur discovered the patent filing, he asked the plant manager to surrender the patent application to BE Food. The plant manager refused.