LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOR

IPR PROTECTION IN THAILAND

Thailand's rapidly increasing economy and the consequent industrialization has led to the development of advance technolgy that is considered to be of high importance and needs to be protected by trademarks, patents, or copyrights.

Protecting the products with the brandname and marks not only translates goodwill, but also marks the quality and reputation of the product as well as the product owner. IPR infringement and counterfeiting undermines not only this but also the whole concept of R&D. Furthermore, the imported items from other countries are also vulnerable to these risks, however, the fact is that foreign intellectual property rights are not always enforceable in Thailand. C7Legal guarantees a complete protection of your intellectual property.

The Department of Intellectual Property (DIP), a part of the Ministry of Commerce, is a responsible authority in Thailand for IPR policies.

PROTECTION OF

TRADEMARKS

Although, there are several marks that fall under intellectual property including trademarks, certification marks, service marks and collective marks, this section only describes the trademark. Please note that special protection is given for famous marks, as long as one can prove the reputation of their mark.

All the rules and regulations for trademarks are governed by the Trademark Act. The Act states that :

  • The trademark includes images, videos, drawings, invented pictures, brandname, texts, information, signatures, group of colors or shapes, 3-D objects or a combintion of these materials.
  • A registered trademark ensures protection of the owner against infringements or counterfeits.
  • For cancellation of registration of any mark, one has to file the objection within 5 years from the data of registration or after 3 years of non-use.
  • If the rights are infringed, one may.
  • In case of an infringment of the rights, the owner has the right to ask the court for an injunction to instruct the infringer to cease or desist.

1.   Distinctive brand assets: The products, materials and information should qualify as unique by the audience. This signifies that the product should have any of the following characteristics :

  • The name of a physical, juristic person or trade name should be unique and should not directly indicate the features and the quality of the product.
  • A non-geographical name that does not directly indicate the features and the quality of the product.
  • A group of colors used in a unique way.
  • An invented material including images, letter, numeral or word.
  • Applicant's or his authorized representative's signature.
  • Applicant's or his authorized representative's photograph.
  • That does not violate or is not prohibited under the Trademark Act.
  • Should not be similar to other trademark registration.

Furthermore, a trademark should not contain any of the below-mentioned items :

  • Any royal or official arms or crests, royal as well as official seals, the Royal Chakri seal, national emblem and insignia of royal orders and decorations, position seals, emblems of bureaus, deapartments, ministries, provinces or similar entities.
  • Royal names, signatures, monograms, dynasties, or similar to these.
  • Flags of Thailand, royal standards, or official flags, or similar items.
  • Flags or national emblems of foreign countries or international organizations, or seals, names, initials or acronyms of those entities.
  • Names, text, words, pictures, portraits or emblems which represent the King, Queen, royal descendants, or heirs, or similar items.
  • Official emblems including the emblems of the Red Cross or Geneva Cross, or similar entities.
  • A mark that is similar to the representation of diploma, certificate or medal.
  • A mark which is identical or very similar to a popular trademark which might misguide or deceive the public.
  • A mark that contradicts or violates the public order, morality, or public policy.
  • A geographical indication that is protected under related law.
  • Various other trademarks authorized by the Minister.

The trademark registration initiates with an official form fill-up that has to be completed in Thai and filed with the Department of Intellectual Property. The applicant should attach a sample product with his physical address in Thailand, If the applicant is not domiciled of Thailand, his business office or premises will be considered as domicile. Thereafter, the duly signed file will be published in the Trademark Gazatte for 90 days. If no one files an objection within this duration, the trademark will be registered and subsequently the payment of the trademark registration fee will be due.

PROTECTION OF

COPYRIGHT

Enacted since 1994, the Copyright Act in Thailand protects the creative and artistic work of the authors against deliberate fraud, infringement, reproduction, or public dissemination for lifetime plus 50 years after the demise of the known author or 50 years after the publication if the author is unknown. Copyright extends from literary, artistic, scientific, cinematographic, musical, audio-visual works, graphics or software, and should already have a specific form such as ideas, principles, concepts or theories which, for instance, cannot be protected.

opyright is enforceable for every work created by authors domiciled in Thailand or a national or resident of a country that is a member of the Berne Convention or the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. The copyright should be published in Thailand, or in the member country of the Berne Convention or the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, or published in any one of the member countries within 30 days after the first publication.

Unlike trademarks, copyrights do not require to be registered as it is a right inherent to the creation or work. Copyright registration, in any case, does not prove that you are the author of your work. However, if you wish to have this registration as a proof or evidence to present before the court later sometime, you can register the copyright of your work with the Department of Intellectual Property. A notarized power of attorney, a duly completed and signed application form (in Thai) and a copy of the copyrighted work are the important requisites for copyright registration.

In the event that there is a deliberate infringement of the rights, the author can file an objection in the civil court within 3 years or up to 10 years after the date the he/she came to know about the infringement. Furthermore, it has to be mentioned explicitly that not all use of copyrights is fraudulent as long as they are used within the normal limits and the ownership is acknoledged by the user. For instance, copying a few pages of a book for research, study or teaching purposes or to show them to larger audience for some valid and non-profitable reasons.

PROTECTION OF

PATENTS

The Patent Acts (dated 1979, 1992 and 1999) in Thailand protects inventions and product designs and all those things that concerns national law. An invention means a newly-created and industrially-applicable product, process or an improvement.

Some requirements have to be duly fulfilled to be qualified as an invention :

  • The idea should be unique to the greater audience globally.
  • The patent application for the invention is not yet filed in Thailand or has been filed for more than 18 months in a foreign country.

The patent protects the invention for not more that 20 years.

A product design is defined as a combination of lines or colors which gives a unique appearance to a product. This design has to be completely original and should not contradict with the public policy or ethics before it is patented. The patent protects the product design up to 10 years.

Patent Eligibility Requirements

  • The applicant should be a Thai nationality or should have his business domiciled in Thailand.
  • The applicant should belong to a country which allows Thai nationals or juristic persons with business domiciled in Thailand to file a patent application.
  • The applicant should belong to any one of the member countries of an international treaties or conventions for patent protection of which Thailand is also a member.