It is possible to register trademarks, collective marks, certification marks, and service marks in Thailand. Marks may include three-dimensional designs, photographs, paintings, device, design, words, letters, numerals, phrases, configurations of goods, and unique color combinations.
Thailand follows the International Classification for Goods and Services, aka Nice Classification or NCL. There are 34 different classes of goods and eight different classes of services. If a trademark is intended for more than one class, a separate application is required for each class.
Although Thailand does not officially require trademarks to be registered, there are significant benefits to doing so. Registering a trademark provides legal protection against counterfeiting and infringement and expedites your ability to enforce your rights. Registration of a trademark also ensures that you are not unknowingly infringing on an existing mark. As a practical matter, without a registered trademark, it will be exceedingly difficult to enforce your proprietary rights against providing reciprocal enforcement against infringement.
Although Thai law does, in certain circumstances, recognize the legality of foreign trademarks, such trademarks provide only limited protection. Thailand is not a party to any international conventions or treaties providing reciprocal enforcement with regard to trademarks. Only by registering locally can a trademark owner be assured of his rights within the kingdom.
The law stipulates that the applicant or his agent must have a fixed place of business or an address in Thailand. Non-resident applicants can only resister a trademark by appointing an agent who is a Thai resident and granting him or her a power of attorney.
The Trademark Registrar will review the application to ensure that the mark is distinctive and does not resemble an existing trademark or a Thai national or royal emblem. It is often helpful to perform a trademark search prior to the submission of the application to avoid possible complications in the event that similar trademarks are registered. If the Trademark Registrar determines that the mark is otherwise acceptable, the trademark will be published in the Trademark Journal. If the mark is not challenged, a registration certificate will be issued after 90 days of publication.
The process takes roughly six months to one year from the date of filing. However, trademark protection begins on the day the application is filed.
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