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Thai Law Company - Trademark Registration

Trademark Registration in Thailand
The protection of trademarks in Thailand is governed by the Trademark Act, B.E. 2534 (A.D. 1991), as amended by the Trademark Act (No.2) B.E. 2543 (A.D. 2000). Enforcement of Trademark rights is governed by the Trademark Act, the Penal Code and the Civil and Commercial Code.

Definition

Under the Trademark Act the term "trademark" is a mark used in conjunction with goods owned by a person which distinguishes those goods from goods bearing the trademark of others.

Thailand Trademark law protects all the commonly protected marks (e.g. photographs, words, numerals, letters, signatures, paintings etc.) and in addition covers three dimensional objects, groups of colors and combinations of these images.

Registration

Trademark registration is not required under Thai law but it will immeasurably facilitate the protection and enforcement of your Trademark rights. Furthermore, registration will ensure that you are not infringing the Trademarks of others.

A Trademark must meet three separate criteria in order to be lawfully registered:

1) it must be distinctive, i.e. consumers must be able to distinguish goods with this mark from other goods;
2) it must not be prohibited by the Trademark Act (make this a link); and
3) it must not be similar to any mark already registered by another person.
Registration Procedure

In order to register a Trademark the applicant or their agent must have a fixed place of business or address in Thailand. Foreigners must appoint a Thai agent and grant them power of attorney to register the Trademark on their behalf. Trademark applications must be filled out in Thai.

It is also common, and recommended by BSA Law, to perform a Trademark search whereby the applicant searches the Trademark Register to ensure that they are not infringing upon the marks of others.

Once the Trademark has been submitted for review the Trademark Registrar is empowered to seek explanations, statements and opinions from the applicant or third parties. These too may be required to be in Thai. Failure to comply with the request for this additional information may result in a failure to register the Trademark.

If the Registrar finds that the Trademark meets the three criteria described above the Trademark application will be published in the Trademark Journal. If no objection to the application is raised within ninety days of the publication the Registrar will register the Trademark.

The registration process generally takes between six months and one year from the date of filing the application with the Registrar.

Appeals

If the Registrar has proposed amendments to the application the applicant will have ninety days to make such amendments. If the applicant disagrees with the proposed amendments he may file an appeal with the Board of Trademark Committee within 90 days of receipt of the Registrar's suggestion.

Similarly, if the application for registration is denied, the applicant will have 90 days from the denial to raise an appeal with the Board of Trademark Committee. The result of the appeal is final.

Validity and Renewal

A registered Trademark is valid for ten years from the date of the filing of the Trademark application.

In order to renew a Trademark the owner, or his agent, must file an application within 90 days prior to the expiration date of the Trademark. It is imperative that the owner be aware of the expiration date of their Trademark as there is no provision requiring the Trademark Office to give notice to the owner.

Protection and Enforcement

In order to protect their Trademark, the owner or their representative should monitor the Official Trademark Journal, published monthly, to ensure that similar Trademarks are not being registered.

If the owner discovers their Trademark is being infringed they may institute a civil and/or a criminal action against the offender. Unlike many other jurisdictions individuals can file criminal suits in Thailand. Generally, filing a criminal action is the best way to proceed as it has the greatest deterrent effect.

Trademark Licensing

Under Thai law a license agreement must be in writing and recorded with the Trademark Office in order to be valid and enforceable. The agreement must be translated in Thai and contain, at the minimum, the following terms:

1. A list of the goods or serviced to be licensed; and
2. The terms and conditions in place to ensure effective quality control.
All other material terms of the agreement may be omitted including terms of compensation or other confidential information.

The above is intended to provide general information only. The contents do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of competent professionals should be sought.

For further information, please contact us and your inquiry will be directed to the relevant attorney.

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