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.
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.
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: