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Learn more about Thailand Intellectual Property

Intellectual property protects the interests of creators by giving them rights to their works. It is made up of two main components: copyright and industrial property. Intellectual property law protects owners. Indeed, Thai and international laws have established more rules allowing the protection of the rights of their owners. Intellectual Property laws strike the right balance between the rights of owners and the public interest, stimulate innovation, enrich public knowledge, promote technical advancements and maintain fair competition. Intellectual property gives its owner a monopoly for a certain period of time, preventing any third party from exploiting his creation or invention without his consent, in order to reward his creativity. Initially only this creativity could be protected.

Table of contents

What is copyright?

Intellectual property covers much more than the protection of technology-related inventions. Indeed, it also includes the protection of new products or processes, know-how or expertise. It also includes trademarks, designs, author’s works and artistic expression. Many businesses do not realize the importance of intellectual property on their development and often a lack of anticipation can have damaging consequences for your business. This is particularly visible for local businesses in developing countries where intellectual property protection for small and medium enterprises remains weak.

Several Thai intellectual property laws are passed through ministerial regulations or memoranda of understanding. Also, Thai IP law has fundamentally changed its legislation following the ratification of several international treaties relating to the protection of intellectual property.

Copyright protects artistic creations, such as literary, musical, graphic (paintings, photographs, films, etc.) and plastic (sculptures, etc.) works. Subject to originality, obtaining the copyright does not require any filing formalities. Performers, audiovisual communication companies and producers of videograms and phonograms also benefit from rights related to copyright.

What is trademark law?

Trademark law gives economic and social actors an operating monopoly on products and services protected by a registered trademark. A trademark, in the legal sense, is a sign which allows a company (or any other economic or social actor) to distinguish its products or services from those offered by the competition. This sign can be made up of letters, numbers or figurative elements (drawings, logo, etc.).

What is design law?

Design law protects the design of a creation in any type of sector: fashion, industry, the automotive sector and others. Filing a design gives you additional protection to that of copyright, and allows you to take action against any competitor who has infringed your design, thereby causing you harm.

What is patent law?

Patent law protects the invention from the reproduction and exploitation of the invention without the consent of its author (or of his beneficiaries). To exploit a new process or object, it is essential that the patent be accompanied by a right of exploitation. Patents make it possible to support innovative companies, by protecting their advances, even if the validity of a patent is in fact limited in time.

Why to protect your intellectual property?

Each of the aforementioned intellectual property rights aims to protect a different aspect of an object, so it is up to the manager to choose the protection that best meets his needs. For example, a smartphone can combine four types of protection:

1. Protection under copyright and/or industrial design law if the manager wishes to protect the shape or design of his smartphone.

2. Protection under trademark law to protect the name of your phone or logo. The mark is valid provided it is distinctive, conforms to public order and good morals and is available. The registered sign is then protected for a period of 10 years, renewable indefinitely.

3. Protection under patent law to protect the technological and technical applications of the smartphone. The patent offers protection for 20 years, as long as the invention meets the criteria of novelty, inventive step and industrial application.

4. Finally, if the business manager wishes to protect his human and / or financial investment, he will opt for protection under rights related to copyright (50 years of protection from his communication to the public) or from the base. data (15 years from the date the database was made available to the public).

These intellectual property rights, all having different purposes, have in common that they confer on their holders a private right, a monopoly, which constitutes an exception to the principle of freedom of trade and industry.

All infringements of these rights (imitation of a brand, reproduction of a creation) are punishable by counterfeiting.

How to protect your intellectual property?

For the majority of businesses, intellectual property rights protection can take effect in the private domain, the business itself. Company owners can protect their IP assets, mitigate potential losses and avoid problems by adequately and appropriately protecting intellectual property rights through the editing of multiple contracts.

It is recommended to ensure that the intellectual property assets are well secured within the company itself. Employment contracts, confidentiality contracts or nondisclosure contracts and technology transfer agreements are particularly relevant to any type of business.

1. Employment contracts

In the context of relations with your employees, it is important to protect the intellectual property of your company by adding protective clauses. For this purpose, it is appropriate to include in the employment contracts of your employees, clauses protecting confidentiality and protecting IP.

Intellectual protection clauses in employment contracts can be drafted to protect virtually all types of intellectual property. An IP protection clause drafted by a specialized lawyer will protect the intellectual property rights in your company, especially in the context of a research and development company.

For pharmaceutical, IT or biotechnology companies, the need for intellectual property protection is essential for the development and sustainability of the company. Depending on the type of industry in your company, the protective clauses that will be written in the employment contracts of employees will have to be adapted according to the employee’s activity, his position in the company.

This specificity is found in the development of new drugs and the employment of researchers who would require clauses protecting research and development in order to guarantee the confidentiality of research.

Also, it is important to provide for the terms of termination of the contract in the context of research, data, equipment and elements that have been collected by your employee. By providing for the termination of the contract both by the employee and by the employer, you would thereby limit the risk of litigation with your company, granting you greater protection for elements including the intellectual property of your company.

2. Confidentiality agreements

Confidentiality agreements are legally binding agreements between an employee or provider and the company. Confidentiality agreements are about protecting company information to which “confidential” information is disclosed. These agreements mainly indicate:

โžค Confidential information
โžค The duration of confidentiality
โžค Terms in order to preserve confidentiality
โžค Penalties for non-compliance with the confidentiality agreement

Confidential information is information that is not in the public domain. They mainly include the following:

1. Intellectual property assets: copyrights, software, brands, product designs, inventions, trade secrets, patents) which are not in the public domain.
2. Information relating to technology (for example concerning the composition of a product, a new invention or process) and know-how.
3. Business, marketing and financial information and strategies (including for example data, reports, analyzes, compilations, estimates, projections, forecasts, interpretations, records, charts, diagrams, studies, results, specifications, assets, operations, finance condition, marketing , planning and pricing policy, sponsors, employees, contracts, strategic personal relations and other proprietary information).

3. Technology transfer

Technology transfer agreements also including material transfer agreements, intellectual property licensing or assignment agreements, intellectual property strategic or joint venture agreements such as co-development agreements or co-marketing agreements are legal document essential in the protection of the IP of your company.

The main objectives of technology transfer agreements are to establish who owns the intellectual property and, where applicable, to set a price on the intangible assets (purchase price in the event of transfer, license rights or royalties for licensing or franchise agreement) or assess the contribution of each party in terms of IP. These agreements of course assume that the intellectual property assets have been clearly identified and valued.

4. Commercial agreement

As part of the business of your company, it is important that your company’s intellectual property is protected in business contracts. To this end, several clauses must appear in your commercial contract, namely:

โžค A confidentiality clause
โžค A subcontracting clause
โžค A protection clause for your company's intellectual property
โžค A data and information protection clause of your company
โžค Use of your logo and image rights with business partners, intellectual property
โžค Confidentiality of intellectual property assets, possibility of subcontracting/ licensing intellectual property assets
โžค Research and development of a product

How to enforce your IP rights in Thailand?

Thai laws protect intellectual property rights against, for example, counterfeiting and other criminal acts affecting your intellectual property rights.

In Thailand, companies face many cases of counterfeiting include clothing, CDs, DVDs, software, watches, cellphones, electrical appliances, electronic equipment, spare parts, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food products and many other products. of consumption.

1. Criminal legal actions

In the event of a violation of your intellectual property rights, you have the option of initiating criminal proceedings. Criminal actions are often taken in counterfeit cases.

Such action can be taken after the owner of the intellectual property rights (or his representative) has filed a complaint with the police authorities.

There are several law enforcement bodies in Thailand:

The Special Investigations Department
The Economic Crime Investigation Division
Police stations
The drug and food control department

2. Civil legal actions

Owners of intellectual property rights can also initiate civil proceedings by entering the Thai Court to obtain redress for their losses and payment of damages.

Civil legal actions must be brought before a court called the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court (CIPITC) to adjudicate cases related to the violation of intellectual property rights in Thailand and assess the damages.

Then, to obtain preliminary injunctions. The IP system in Thailand provides possibilities to preserve evidence. Preliminary injunctions are very useful in order to stay the litigious act.

Why call on our IP lawyers?

The mission of the lawyer specializing in IP is to protect, defend and enhance the Intellectual Property rights of a company. The latter can call on a specialized law firm.

For companies, innovations as well as creations prove to be their best weapon to stand out from the competition, to increase productivity and to develop society. They therefore need an intellectual property lawyer to advise them in the enhancement and protection of their intangible heritage. The lawyer, specialized in intellectual property, intervenes in the defense of copyright, trademarks, patents, designs, domain names, etc. It also performs the assessment of intellectual and industrial property rights. He also deals with data protection and drafting contracts, including assignments, licenses, research and development.

In parallel with these actions, our IP lawyers will be able to support and advise you for all of your litigation or not. Our lawyers will be able in particular to provide their expertise when drafting a contract to formalize an intellectual property clause. These kinds of clauses are particularly useful in an agreement where the parties work together for a common goal.

What is the intellectual property office in Thailand?

The Thai Intellectual Property Department (DIP) was established on May 3, 1992 in Bangkok. This department reports to the Minister of Commerce and is located at 563 Nonthaburi 1rd., Bangkrasor, Muang Nonthaburi 11000 Thailand.

The Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) is the main administration for the promotion and protection of IP in Thailand. The DIP serves as the snowmaking office and houses the Trademark Office, the Copyright Office and the Patent Office. In addition, a specialized court, the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Tribunal (CIPITC) was established in 1997 to adjudicate civil and criminal IP cases in Thailand. The court deals with over 600013 intellectual property cases per year and is widely used by IPR holders for trademark and copyright infringement matters.

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