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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Mrz 06, 2012 (Newsletter Issue 4/12)
Thailand
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New Trademark Bill Approved


A Draft Trade Mark Bill was approved by the Cabinet in Thailand on November 22, 2011, and the approved version was submitted to the Parliament for its final consideration and approval. It is expected to come into force in June 2012.

The Bill contains several significant points, which the Department of Intellectual Property believes will expand the scope of trade mark protection in Thailand, and accelerate and facilitate the registration process, and provide for more suitable fees for registration.

Under the Bill, “scent and sound” have been included in the definition of the term "mark" in order to extend the scope of protection to these non-traditional trade mark forms.

The Bill also provides clearer and more specific criteria for the purpose of determining whether a mark is distinctive. A distinctive status is ascribed to an invented word, invented number, or invented character. They can therefore be registered as trademarks.

The Bill also provides that a shape mark has a distinctive status, if the shape of the mark does not indicate the nature of the goods, or obtain technical results, or give substantial value to the goods.

Moreover, the Bill provides that if a trade mark is not inherently distinctive, as provided by law, it can acquire distinctive status by way of acquiring a secondary meaning - that is, by proving that the mark has been used in association with the applicant's goods or services in a commercial sense, and through such usage, has become well known in Thailand. The trade mark will thereby become distinctive.

Source: Siam Premier International Law Office Limited, Thailand on www.aippi.org