Thailand is an emerging economy and considered as a Newly Industrialized Country. After enjoying the world's highest growth rate from 1985 to 1996 – averaging 9.4% annually – increased pressure on Thailand's currency, the baht, in 1997, the year in which the economy contracted by 1.9% led to a crisis that uncovered financial sector weaknesses and forced the Chavalit Yongchaiyudh administration to float the currency, however, Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh was forced to resign after his cabinet came under fire for its slow response to the crisis. The baht was pegged at 25 to the US dollar from 1978 to 1997, however, the baht reached its lowest point of 56 to the US dollar in January 1998 and the economy contracted by 10.8% that year. This collapse prompted the Asian financial crisis.
Who May Apply?
An individual andlor juristic person can apply for registration of a mark
What Can Be Registered?
A registrable trademark shall consist of the following particulars:
(1) a distinctive trademark; (2) a trademark that is not forbidden by the law; or (3) a trademark that is not identical with or similar to those registered by others. A distinctive trademark is a trademark that makes the general public or the consumer of goods believe that the goods bearing a trademark are different from those of other persons. A distinctive trademark shall consist of at least one of the following essential particulars:
(1) the name of an ordinary person, first name and surname of an individual which are not ordinarily understood, full name of a juristic person under related laws, or trade name represented in a special or particular manner and having no direct reference to the character and quality of the goods;
(2) a word or clause that has no direct reference to the character or quality of the goods and is not a geographical name according to the prescription of the Minister;
(3) a group of colors represented in a special or particular manner, or an invented letter, numeral or word;
(4) the signature of the applicant for registration or that of some predecessor in his business or of others with his or her permission;
(5) the photograph of the applicant or of others with his permission;
or with the consent of his descendants and spouse in the case of a deceased person; or
(6) an invented device.
In the case when a name, word or phrase contrary to the descriptions in (1) and (2) above is used as a trademark on goods which are widely distributed or extensively advertised under the rules and regulations prescribed by the Minister and there is a proof that the rules and regulations have been complied with, the trademark shall be deemed distinctive.
A trademark is registrable only if the proprietor or his representative has an office or any place of business which the Registrar can contact in Thailand.
If, in the opinion of the Registrar, a trademark as a whole is registrable under Section 6 but contains a part or parts common to trade in a certain kind of goods to the ownership of which the applicant is not solely entitled, or is not distinctive, the Registrar shall proceed with one of the following instructions: (1) instruct the applicant to disclaim the right to exclusive use of such part of the trademark within 90 days after receiving the instruction; or (2) instruct the applicant to make such other disclaimer as the Registrar may consider necessary for determining the right of the trademark proprietor within 90 days after being instructed. For the purpose of conforming to item (1) above, the Registrar is authorized to prescribe matters considered to be common for trade in certain kinds or classes of goods. The Registrar shall send the applicant without delay a copy of notice stating in it the instructions under paragraph (I), as well as his reasons.
What Cannot Be Registered?
A trademark which possesses or consists of any of the following particulars shall not be registrable:
(1) royal or official arms or crests, royal seals, official seals, the Royal Chakri seal, emblems and insignia of royal orders and decorations, position seals, emblems of Ministries, Bureaus, Departments, or emblems of provinces;
(2) flags of Thailand, royal standards, or official flags;
(3) royal names, royal signatures, royal monograms, or royal dynasties;
(4) photographs or portraits of the King, Queen or heirs;
(5) names, words, text, or emblems which represent the King, Queen, royal descendants or heirs;
(6) national flags or national emblems of foreign countries, flags and emblems of international organizations, seals of heads of foreign countries, official emblems and marks of quality assurance on goods of foreign countries or international organizations, or names and initials or acronyms of foreign countries or international organizations, unless authorized by the person in charge of foreign affairs of such foreign countries or international organizations;
(7) official emblems, emblems of the Red Cross, or the appellation "Red Cross" or "Geneva Cross";
(8) a mark identical or similar to the representation of a medal, diploma or certificate, or any other mark awarded at an exhibition or competition held by the Thai government or a Thai government agency of Thai state enterprise, a foreign government, or an international organization unless such medal, diploma, certificate
or mark has actually been awarded to the applicant for goods bearing its representation and it is used as a part of his trademark and provided that the calendar year of award is indicated;
(9) a mark which is contrary to public order, morality or public policy;
(10) a mark which, according to criteria prescribed by the Minister, is identical or very similar to a well-known trademark that it confuses or deceives the public as to the proprietor or the origin of the goods bearing the mark, regardless of whether or not the trademark has been registered;
(11) a trademark which is similar to (I), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6) or (7);
(12) a geographical indication which is protected under related law; or
(13) other trademarks prescribed by the Minister. Subject to the provisions of section 27, if, in the opinion of the Registrar, a trademark for which a registration is sought is: (1) a trademark which is identical with another trademark already registered by another proprietor; or (2) a trademark which is so similar to another trademark already registered by another proprietor that it confuses or deceives the public as to the proprietor or the origin of the goods. In the event that registration is sought for a trademark which is to be used with goods of the same or different classes but is considered by the Registrar to be of the same character,
the trademark shall not be accepted for registration.
A recently executed power of attorney, notarized.
A specimen of the mark. If the mark is in color, the specimen must be in color. Thirty five originals of the specimen for each of the goods for which the mark is to be registered should be supplied. The size of the specimen should not be over 5 cm in height or length; otherwise there will be an additional governmental charge. A detailed list of the goods/services to be covered by the application of Goods is not allowed.
An English translation of any non-English words in the mark, notarized power of attorney, and other documents which are not in English.
Evidence of prior use (should be submitted to the Registrar within 30 days from the filing date of application).
Evaluation & Review
An application for registration of a trademark shall be processed according to the regulations and measures prescribed by the Ministerial Regulations.
In consideration of an application for trademark registration, the Registrar has the following authorizations: (1) to send an investigating letter to or call an applicant to give verbal statements or state his or her explanations in writing; or request an applicant to submit any documents concerning application for registration for examination and consideration; (2) to ask for the submission of Thai translations of foreign documents in support of the registration within the given period
of time; and (3) to invite any person to give facts, explanations, recommendations, or opinions. If the applicant fails to follow the Registrar's instructions according to item 1 or 2 without reasonable cause, he shall be deemed to have abandoned his application. If, in the opinion of the Registrar: (1) any part of which is not an essential part is unregistrable according to Section 6; or (2) an application for trademark registration is not consistent with Section 9 or 10 or does not conform to the Ministerial Regulations referred to in Section 11 hereof, he will notify the applicant without delay to rectify same within 90 days after receipt of the notice.
If, in the opinion of the Registrar, a trademark or any essential part thereof is found to be nonregistrable according to Section 6, the Registrar
shall refuse to proceed.
The registration of a trademark shall be valid for 10 years from the date of registration and the renewal thereof may be made. The validity term does not include the period of time during which legal proceedings are taken in court.
Any proprietor who wishes to renew his trademark registration shall apply with the Registrar to renew the registration of his trademark within 90 days before expiration. When an application for the renewal has already been filed within the specified time period, the registered trademark shall be deemed valid until the Registrar otherwise directs.
The renewal of a trademark registration shall be in accordance with the rules and procedures prescribed by the Ministerial Regulations.
If the proprietor has applied for trademark renewal within the specified time period and the Registrar determines that the application for renewal has been in accordance with the rules and procedures prescribed the Registrar shall renew the trademark registration for a further period of 10 years from the date of expiration of the original registration or of the last renewal of registration, as the case may be. If the proprietor has applied for trademark renewal within the specified time period as mentioned in Section 54, paragraph 1, but the Registrar determines that the application for renewal has not been in accordance with the rules and procedures prescribed by the Ministerial Regulations according to Section 54, paragraph 2, the Registrar shall instruct the proprietor to correct the
irregularity within 30 days from the date of notice, and shall give a notice of these instructions in writing to the proprietor without delay.
If the proprietor does not comply with the Registrar's instructions within the time limit according to paragraph 2, the Registrar shall have the power to grant an extension of such period permitted as he deems necessary under circumstances.
The registered trademark shall be deemed cancelled if the proprietor of the trademark does not renew the registration of his trademark
within the time limit as stated in Section 54, paragraph 1.
The proprietor of a registered trademark may grant a license to other persons to use his trademark for any or all of the goods for which it is registered. The trademark license agreement must be made in writing and must be registered with the Registrar. The registration of a trademark license agreement shall be applied for in accordance with the rules and procedures prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations. But the application for the registration thereof shall at least provide the following particulars: (I) the conditions and terms of agreement made between the proprietor of the trademark and the applicant to be the
authorized licensee, which conditions must actually enable the former to control the quality of the goods manufactured by the latter; (2) the goods on which the licensed trademark is used; and (3) whether the authorized licensee has the exclusive right to use the mark or whether the owner of the work can license other parties to use the mark.
If, in the opinion of the Registrar, the agreement according to Section 68 does not deceive or cause confusion to the public and is not contrary to public order, morality, or public policy, the Registrar shall issue an order accepting such agreement upon such conditions or limitations as he thinks fit for the sake of the public. Otherwise, the Registrar shall issue an order rejecting the licensing agreement.
When the Registrar has issued a definitive order he shall notify the proprietor and the applicant licensee in writing thereof without delay. In the event that the Registrar accepts the agreement upon certain conditions or limitations or rejects the same, the Registrar shall accordingly notify such persons stating his reasons for accepting or rejecting the agreement. The proprietor of the trademark or the applicant licensee shall have the right to appeal against the Registrar's decision to the Board within 90 days from the date of receipt of the Registrar's notification, otherwise the Registrar's order shall be final. The Board's decision on
the appeal shall be final.
The use of the trademark by the authorized licensee in conducting his authorized business activities shall be considered to be the use of the trademark by the proprietor.
The proprietor of the registered trademark and the authorized licensee may jointly request the Registrar to enter changes on the registration of trademark license agreement with regard to the goods on which the licensed trademark is used or to the conditions or limitations imposed in the licensing agreement by the proprietor. The provisions of Section 69 shall apply mutatis mutandis. The application for entering changes on the register of licensing agreements shall be in
accordance with the rules and procedures prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations.
The proprietor of the trademark and the authorized licensee may request the Registrar to cancel the registration of a trademark license agreement if he can show that the agreement has already been terminated. Any interested person or the Registrar may request the Board to cancel the registration of trademark licensee if he can show the following: (1) the use of the trademark by the authorized licensee deceives or causes confusion to the public or is contrary to public order
or morality or public policy; or (2) the proprietor of the trademark is no longer able to actually control the quality of the goods bearing the trademark. The cancellation of the registration of a trademark license agreement shall be in accordance with the rules and procedures prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations.
When a request has been made to cancel a trademark license agreement, the Registrar or the Board, as the case may be, shall notify the proprietor of the trademark or the authorized licensee in writing thereof, as the case may be in order that he can furnish his clarification within the specified time which is not less than 15 days and not more than 60 days from the date of receipt of the Registrar's or the Board's notification, as the case may be. The Registrar or Board shall
have the concerned persons give further evidence or provide clarifying statements.
When the Registrar has issued the order according to Section 72, paragraph 2, he shall give a written notice thereof together with his reasons for issuing such an order to the proprietor of the trademark and the authorized licensee without delay. The said order shall come into force from the date of receipt of the Registrar's notification. The proprietor of the trademark or the authorized licensee shall have the right to appeal the Registrar's order, as stated in paragraph 1, to the
Board within 90 days from the date of receipt of the Registrar's notification. The Registrar's order shall be final if the appeal has not been made within the specified time.
When the Board has issued an order according to Section 72, paragraph 3, the Board shall give a written notice thereof, together with the reasons for issuing such order, to the proprietor of the trademark and the authorized licensee without delay. The said order shall come into force from the date of receipt of the Board's notification.
Any interested person or the Registrar shall have the right to appeal the Board's order as indicated in paragraph 1 to the Court within 90 days from the date of receipt of the Board's notification. The Board's order shall be final if the appeal has not been made within the specified time.
In the event of the cancellation of a trademark registration, the license to use such trademark shall become null and void.