Intellectual property laws are very important for businessmen. If you are looking to start an enterprise in the Kingdom of Thailand, then it pays to read about Thailand’s intellectual property rules and regulations. It’s a very complicated topic, however, and can span several articles.
For starters, however, let us look at some quick and basic facts about Thailand’s IP laws.
This is true for trademarks. Thailand’s system puts more importance to early filing of trademarks. This is to help avoid hijacking of marks especially if you’ve already created that mark in your home country and is just looking to expand to Thailand. Before you even infuse capital into a local Thai unit of your business, make sure to have the relevant trademarks registered first in order to gain protection of the law.
Trademark protection in Thailand expires only after 10 years, which is a very long time indeed. You get to go about your business without having to worry about your trademark’s protection. When the protection does expire, you can renew it again for another 10 years, so on and so forth. However, in order for the protection to remain valid, your company must actively use it in your products or branding activities because a dormancy of at least three consecutive years will result to premature expiration.
There is the standard patent that provides 20 years of protection to a fully innovative invention. Second, Thai law also provides protection to designs with patents that are valid for 10 years. Finally, there is the “petty patent” for minor inventions, and it provides 6 years of protection to the invention.
There are innovations and breakthroughs that cannot be patented in Thailand. These subject matters include animal and plant extracts, computer programs, and procedures used in medicine and business. These are meant to be shared freely to the public because of the nature of their use.
Similar to the rest of the world, copyright protection is in place as long as the creator of the work is still living. In the event that the creator passes away, his or her estate can still claim copyright protection over the copyrighted work for 50 more years.
Holding an international patent does not automatically entail patent protection under Thai law. One has to instead apply for individual patents in Thailand in order to protect the subject matter covered by the international patents. Holders can, however, avail of priority applications to expedite the process in the Kingdom.
This is for now. These are five quick facts about how intellectual property laws and regulations work in Thailand. Hopefully, these five quick facts have given you a basic idea of how Thailand views intellectual property and what rights you can have as a creator, inventor or designer.