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Learn more about Trademark Registration

Registering a trademark offers legal protection against counterfeiting and infringement of your intellectual property. A registered trademark greatly enhances your ability to enforce your rights. Brands can be registered in Thailand and are governed by the Trademark Act BE 2534. In order to own a mark and benefit from legal protection, it is necessary to register your mark with the relevant Thai authority, namely the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP). A trademark is a distinctive sign that identifies the origin of a product or service. It can be a word, a name, a slogan, a logo, a design or even a combination of these elements. It is an intellectual property right which can have a high economic value for its owner.

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Why register your trademark in Thailand?

The interest in registering a trademark is first and foremost to establish effective protection in Thailand or internationally. A sign or name that the owner does not register will not have the same status as the registered trademark and may be taken over by another competitor. There are two main interests in registering a mark:

1. Prohibit third parties from using the registered trademark

Trademark registration allows its owner to protect his brand against use by competitors. Third parties cannot use a sign (name, logo, designs, etc.) identical or similar to the mark in the same field of activity. This protection protects the investments made in launching a product or service. It guarantees the trademark owner that no other similar product or service can bear a similar name. Thus, it will be forbidden to market a product or service that is confusing with the registered sign.

2. The use of the brand by contract

The other advantage of trademark registration is that you can exploit the brand by entering into contracts. This may be a licensing agreement or an assignment agreement. In all cases, in exchange for the rights granted to the trademark, the owner will receive royalties. These royalties can generate substantial income from the exploitation of a registered mark.

In 2020, an expected 13.4 million trademark applications were filed worldwide, covering 17.2 million classes. In 2020, the number of classes stated in applications increased by 13.7 percent, representing the eleventh consecutive year of growth. During the COVID-19 epidemic, several countries throughout the world experienced a significant drop in economic activity. Trademark filing activity, on the other hand, increased significantly in 16 of the top 20 offices. In fact, 11 offices grew by double digits in 2020, with growth rates ranging from 12.2 percent in Germany to 44.3 percent in Indonesia. The majority of the time, the increase in resident filings was the driving force behind the overall increase.

With a class count of about 9.3 million, China’s IP office had the highest level of filing activity[1], followed by the USPTO (870,306), the Islamic Republic of Iran (541,750), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) (438,511), and India’s IP office (424,583). In terms of trademark filing activity, India’s office has surpassed Japan to become the fifth largest.

In 2020, Asia-based trademark filing offices accounted for 71.8 percent of all trademark filing activity, up from 41.3 percent in 2010. From 34.1 percent in 2010 to 14.7 percent in 2020, Europe’s share has decreased. In 2020, North America accounted for 5.9% of global office space, while Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Oceania combined accounted for 7.7% of global office space.

The robust growth in trademark applications in items and services linked to advertising and business management; medicines; surgical, medical, and dental goods is driving the substantial growth in global trademark filing activity. Pharmaceutical filings climbed from 4.1 percent in 2019 to 4.6 percent in 2020, while surgical, medical, and dental goods filings increased from 1.5 percent to 2.3 percent.

In many nations, these patterns were reflected at the national level, with huge increases in trademark filing activity. For example, resident submissions in pharmaceuticals drove India’s 15.4 percent increase in trademark activity. Local pharmaceuticals, meanwhile, were the third-largest contribution to a 19.1 percent total growth in Iran, trailing only advertising, business management, and transportation.

In 2020, there were an anticipated 64.4 million active trademark registrations worldwide, up 11.2 percent from the previous year, with 30.2 million in China alone, 2.6 million in the United States, and 2.4 million in India.

What trademarks can be registered?

Under Thai law, three criteria must be met in order to register your trademark:

1. A trademark must be distinctive

A trademark with one or more of the following characteristics may be considered distinctive in Thailand:

➤ A combination of colors, symbols, letters, numbers or invented words
➤ A name of a natural or legal person or even a commercial name
➤ A word which no reference is made to the products
➤ A representation of the applicant or another person
➤ An invention or innovation

Any trademark that has already been in use in Thailand for a long time can be considered a dictated distinctive trademark, even if the above conditions are not met.

A mark may be considered distinctive by virtue of its use. For this purpose, the applicant must send to the DIP all evidence of the use of the brand, i.e. email signature, brochure, presentation, advertisement and others.

2. A trademark must not be prohibited by law

Some marks are expressly prohibited by law under the Trademarks Act and Ministerial Regulations, including:

➤ Trademarks being contrary to public order or good morals
➤ Marks identical to or similar to well-known marks so that the public could be confused
➤ Geographical indications as protected by law
➤ State symbols or crests, royal seals, official seals, emblems and badges of royal orders and decorations, seals of office, of ministries and offices, departments or provinces
➤ Thai flag or standard royal flag or official flags, national emblems and flags of foreign states or international organizations
➤ Royal names, abbreviations of royal names, representations of the king, queen or heir to the throne, names, words, terms or emblems signifying the king, queen or heir to the throne or members of the royal family
➤ Other marks prescribed by ministerial notifications

3. A trademark must not be the same or similar to another registered brand

Before trademark registration, it is essential to check that an identical or similar mark has not already been registered. Indeed, the presence of a similar brand will result in the rejection of the trademark application. To determine the availability of a sign in Thailand, the following steps should be taken:

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Is it important to protect your trademark?

The existence of a trademark, even a notable one, for many years is not enough to obtain legal protection: third parties can take it, use it, and even register it. It is therefore essential to seek protection for your creation.

This is why national and international law allows entrepreneurs to register a brand so that only the creator can use it, through national or international intellectual property organisations.

The registration of a mark confers exploitation rights to protect your brand. This allows its creator to :

5 steps to register a trademark in Thailand

The application with the DIP is made via a form which can be submitted electronically on the DIP website or directly to the DIP department. Before submitting the form, we recommend that you follow the steps below to ensure that your trademark is registered.

Step 1. Determine which products and services will be covered

Every trademark is related to an activity or a service. As such, your application must include all the goods and services that will be covered by your application.

Once you have identified them, you must classify them according to the international classification known as the Nice Classification and mention these classifications in your application form. For this purpose, there are 34 different classifications of products and 8 different classifications of services. If the applicant wishes to cover several goods and services, an application must be filed for each classification.

(For example, an application for protection for clothing type goods belongs to class 25).

Step 2. Check your trademark availability

Before filing your trademark, we recommend that you check that your trademark is available and can therefore be registered in Thailand or internationally. It is available if no imitation or reproduction is made of a sign that has already been registered.

Step 3. Register your trademark

The following documents should be sent:

➤ An example of your trademark in black and white or in color with a maximum dimension of five cm by five cm
➤ A signed copy of the Company Director's passport or the applicant's passport
➤ The Company Affidavit of the company making the request and its original
➤ The applicant's information, namely: your full name, address, country and profession of the applicant
➤ The description of the services and products to be protected and representative of the trademark
➤ A power of attorney, this must be certified by a notary if the request is signed from abroad
➤ Country, date and number of the trademark application and in the countries in which your brand will be registered
➤ Date of first use of your mark (if applicable at the time of application)

Step 4. Receipt of your application by the DIP

The Thai DIP department will send you an acknowledgement of receipt of your application. Processing times are more than 12 months from the date of submission of your application.

Step 5. Notification of acceptance or rejection

Once the trademark has been accepted by the DIP, your application will be published for a period of 90 days so that any other person can oppose your registration if necessary. If no opposition is filed during this period, the registration will be completed and the certificate of registration will be issued.

How long to register a trademark?

Once your application has been submitted, DIP officials will send you a letter informing the applicant of the outcome of the trademark registration. The processing time varies between 12 and 18 months depending on the complexity of your application.

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How long is a trademark protected?

In Thailand, the term of protection of a trademark is 10 years, but the duration of registration may vary from country to country depending on the legal provisions of the country.

How to renew a trademark registration?

The applicant has the possibility to renew the application for trademark protection after the end of the 10-year period. The application for renewal must be submitted to the DIP 90 days before the expiry of the 10 year period. If no renewal is submitted, the mark will not be registered and will therefore not benefit from legal protection.

How to protect a trademark internationally?

Since November 7, 2017, anyone wishing to register their trademark in Thailand and benefit from an international registration will be able to apply to the DIP authorities. Indeed, since that date, Thailand has ratified the Madrid Treaty, allowing international protection applications to be accepted with the International Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The Madrid system allows a brand to be registered in several countries via a form and to be registered in a single country by signing the Madrid Protocol.

The application for international registration can be made using a form specifying the list of countries in which the owner wishes to obtain protection for his mark and a property right.

Filing an international trademark allows you to register it in more than 122 countries and to proceed by filing an application. In order to register your international trademark in Thailand, several steps must be followed:

Step 1. Filing of the trademark protection application

The first step is to register an international trademark with the Intellectual Property Office in Thailand. Then, you will have the possibility to extend this registration to 122 other countries by filling in an additional form.

After your international application has been submitted, the Thai DIP administration will forward the application for international protection to WIPO.

Step 2. Examination of the application

After receiving the application, WIPO will check the form of the international application. After acceptance, the mark will be recorded directly in an international register and published in the WIPO Gazette of International Marks.

Following this publication, WIPO will send the applicant a certificate of international registration and notify all countries that are to benefit from the protection of the mark.

What to do if the registration is refused?

An application which, after examination, is refused by the DIP may be appealed. Under Section 35 of the Thai Trademark Act BE 2534 (1991), the applicant has 60 days from the date of publication to appeal the refusal decision to the Office, Department of Intellectual Property in Thailand (DIP).

What are the administrative costs?

The filing fees for the registration of your brand are detailed as follows and according to the number of classes covering your protection:

For a deposit in Thailand: The administrative fee is THB 1000 per class
For international filing in Thailand: Fees vary by country and can range from THB 35,000 to 50,000

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