In the 21st century, it is unquestionable that our world is fueled by technology and innovation. These novel creations are considered intellectual assets that must be protected as much as physical assets. Though they are intangible, intellectual property can be sold, bought, and generate income for the inventors in the same way as tangible property. Full protection over the exclusive right to benefit from own intellectual property is therefore crucial and should be legally enforced.
What Exactly Is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property refers to ideas or creations of human intellect. This may encompass product designs, scientific discoveries, artistic works as well as the company’s brand and logo. These are valuable possessions that are often stolen, forged, or used by others without authorization. It is extremely important for inventors and companies to properly manage their intellectual property and understand legal mechanisms of how to enforce their entitlements in case of any violation of their original work.
The protection of these intangible assets helps encourage inventors to continue developing their ideas and contributing to innovation for the benefit of society and the growth of the economy.
Intellectual Property Rights in Thailand
Thailand is known to the world as a dream destination for tourists. However, amid rapid economic growth and increased overseas investment, Thailand has transitioned into a newly industrialized country.
The country is gearing towards a new economic model driven by advanced digital technology and innovation. This transformation calls for well-established intellectual property protection measures to support rising creativity in different sectors.
Even though counterfeit products remain a concern in Thailand, the country’s Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) under the Ministry of Commerce has been attempting to improve intellectual property rights protection through major reforms and enhanced law enforcement efforts.
In 2021, DIP officially launched its online platform for intellectual property disputes. Companies and inventors are able to file cases related to intellectual property infringements and settle disputes online. This helps facilitate the discussion and saves time and effort for all parties involved.
What Are the Common Types of Intellectual Property in Thailand?
Every day we come into contact with some forms of intellectual property. Below are the four primary types that businesses can protect through legal means.
Trademark is used to distinguish the source of the products or services from those sold by others. This may include names, phrases, logos, colors, or marks that are branding related. A business’s trademarks must be unique and unidentical with those registered by other individuals or companies. Trademarks help the public recognize the manufacturer of the products and should be registered with the relevant authority in Thailand for them to be protected according to the Trademark Act.
Patents protect inventions whereby the owner is granted an exclusive right to the product, process, machinery, formulation for etcetera. These are discoveries that offer new approaches and solutions that help businesses or consumers solve existing problems. In Thailand, patents are governed by the Patent Act which protects the right to manufacture or distribute an invention for a period of 20 years.
Copyrights protect the rights of the author or creator for their expression of ideas rather than the ideas themselves. The examples of creative pieces that are safeguarded by copyrights may include artistic works such as literature, music, photograph, motion pictures, or even programming codes. The holder of the exclusive right has control over how his or her works can be utilized by others either commercially or non-commercially. The Copyright Act prevents the creations from being deliberately reproduced or adapted for a lifetime of the author and 50 years after his or her decease.
As the name implies, trade secrets are proprietary information, such as systems, strategies, procedures, or any other confidential data that are valuable to the business. The owner of a trade secret has the right to permit or prevent others to disclose or use the information. Trade secrets may be considered as competitive advantages of the company and are protected under Trade Secrets Act.
Intellectual Property Disputes
Infringement of intellectual property leads to disputes between the holder of the right and the party who violates such right or the agreed terms and conditions. This may involve piracy or imitation of the products without permission or when the creation is used or plagiarized by someone else without proper credit.
Disputes over intellectual property rights are incredibly common especially now that technology plays a big part in our lives. People are exposed to more digital content than ever before, and infringements can easily occur either unintentionally or deliberately.
Remedies for Intellectual Property Infringement
The most recommended measure to protect the company’s intellectual property is to ensure that it is properly registered with the government agency. This serves as evidence of ownership in case of any infringement or violation of the owner’s right.
In Thailand, the right holder may file either criminal or civil charges against the act of infringement.
A criminal prosecution involves a police raid to obtain evidence before court proceedings. The owner of the intellectual property may file a complaint with the police force or the court. It is the most prevalent course of action for infringement cases in Thailand. However, there have been challenges in regard to securing necessary evidence. It is highly recommended to consult with a legal professional in this particular field on the most effective approach to pursue.
Aside from criminal charges, the right holder may file for civil prosecution under the Civil and Commercial Code in order to gain compensation for the damages.
This type of lawsuit is more costly and time-consuming. Therefore, it is not a preferred option compared to criminal enforcement. Nonetheless, the relevant court may order a permanent injunction against the infringer under a civil proceeding in addition to awarding appropriate monetary damages to the claimant.
Court proceedings concerning intellectual property involve an intricate process that requires assistance from highly competent lawyers. Our team of legal practitioners at Siam Legal has significant experience in resolving intellectual property disputes and representing businesses and individuals in litigation cases. Our years of expertise allow us to understand the local customs and industrial practices of our clients. We have served domestic and international clients from a wide range of industries. Thus, we recognize the sensitivity of our client’s business needs and aim to help protect their innovative works through strategic and pragmatic legal approaches with utmost commitment. Reach out to us for legal services tailored to your unique circumstances.
Siam Legal is a law firm in Thailand that offers various services that are designed to protect the rights and interests of foreigners in Thailand. Should you have any questions or issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights, our team of Thai lawyers invites you to contact us through the link below: