Thailand: Impact of International Patent Developments

patent-without backgroundToday’s blog post has been kindly shared with us by our external experts Mr. Daniel Greif and Mr. Dhanasun Chumchuay from Spruson & Ferguson. In this article, Mr. Grief and Mr. Chumchuay explain the two announcements made by Thai Department of Intellectual Property and their impact on companies wishing to apply for patents in Thailand. This article first appeared in Managing Intellectual Property Magazine. 

On May 5 2017, the Thai Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) issued two announcements in regard to patent processes in Thailand: (1) Announcement on the Establishment of a List of International Search Authorities and International Preliminary Examining Authorities (No 2); and (2) Announcement on Fees for International Applications, International Searches, Delivery of International Applications and Late Payment of Fees.
The first announcement specifies the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) among the list of International Search Authorities (ISA) and the International Preliminary Examining Authorities (IPEA), while the second announcement establishes new fees for international applications, which have been adjusted to reflect the current fee rates charged by the listed ISAs and the current currency exchange rates.
These two developments reflect the continued positive steps being taken by the DIP to create greater efficiencies and to upgrade patent processes, as well as to clear the patent backlog that poses a constant obstacle to timely patent prosecution in Thailand.

IPOS as ISA and IPEA
The DIP’s Announcement on the Establishment of a List of International Search Authorities and International Preliminary Examining Authorities (No 2) confirms the IPOS as a body qualified as an ISA and an IPEA for international applications filed in Thailand. Continue reading “Thailand: Impact of International Patent Developments” »

Thailand Is Now Clearing Its Backlog of Patent Applications

RegisteredGood news for SMEs wishing to acquire patents in Thailand, as the country is committed to clearing its backlog of patent applications. Today’s blog post has been kindly shared with us by our external IPR experts, Ms. Darani Vachanavuttivong and Ms. Jitluedee Siemanond from Tilleke & Gibbins. In this article, Ms. Vachanavuttivong and Ms. Siemanond further explain the steps undertaken by the Thai Department of Intellectual Property to ensure faster patent application procedures. 

The problem of long periods of pendency for patent registration in Thailand may finally be successfully solved after several past attempts, even though an expected executive order under section 44 of the nation’s interim constitution has not yet been formally announced.

The Thai Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) has put forward great efforts in setting up an effective action plan and has substantially increased its Patent Office manpower in 2016 and 2017, in order to effectively and promptly examine pending patent applications. The number of patent examiners in each examiner group has increased more than 100 percent, with the total number of examiners growing from 39 in 2015 to 143 in August 2017. The approximate headcount of each examiner group at the Patent Office is as follows:
Continue reading “Thailand Is Now Clearing Its Backlog of Patent Applications” »

IP Considerations in Thailand for Healthcare and Medical Technologies Sector

medic-563423_1920In Today’s blog post we are taking a closer look at the IP protection in Thailand’s healthcare and medical technologies sector that similarly to Singapore, covered last week, has been offering promising business opportunities for the European SMEs. You will learn more about what types of IP are connected to the healthcare industry and how you can best protect these types of IP in Thailand.

Being one of the leading destinations for medical tourism in Asia Pacific region with the ambition of becoming the international key driver of medical devices growth, Thailand offers many promising opportunities business opportunities to European SMEs engaged in healthcare and medical technologies sector, whose topnotch technology is increasingly sought after. Furthermore, as Thai population is aging rapidly, with the expectation that by 2025 people over 60 will make up 22% of the whole population, the demand for medical devices and technologies will increase considerably[1].

European SMEs who are engaged in the field of diagnostic imaging, orthopaedics & prosthetics and dental products can expect to find plenty of business opportunities in Thailand, as these areas are currently developing fastest in the country. Furthermore, as 85.2% of the medical device market in Thailand is supplied by imports[2], there will also be business opportunities for European SMEs engaged in other areas of healthcare and medical technologies industry. Due to good geographical location, Thailand could also serve as a springboard to Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Intellectual Property Rights are very relevant in the healthcare and medical sector as companies operating in the field heavily rely on technology, software, and brand reputation. Not only a way to help protect innovations and new products from competitors, IP assets can also be an important source of cash-flow through licensing deals or selling IP, as well as a significant pull-factor when attracting investors. European SMEs should also not forget to pay attention to protecting their IP, because IP infringements are still commonplace in Thailand. Well-managed IP is often a key factor for business success and neglecting these rights could be costly. Thus, a comprehensive IPR strategy is needed, when entering Thailand’s market, says Valentina Salmoiraghi, IP Business Advisor. Continue reading “IP Considerations in Thailand for Healthcare and Medical Technologies Sector” »

Handling of Trade Secrets in South-East Asia: Focus on Thailand

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fgjTrade secrets are an excellent but often under-exploited means of IP protection for the SMEs. In Today’s blog post we are taking a closer look at trade secret protection in South-East Asia in general as well as in Thailand in particular. You will learn about general trade secret protection requirements and trends in South-East Asia and will get a closer overview of trade secret protection in Thailand in particular. 

Trade secrets are a highly valuable form of intellectual property that nearly all businesses in all industries and sectors possess. However, they are frequently overlooked by businesses, partly because there is confusion about what actually constitutes a trade secret. So what is a trade secret?

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), any confidential business information that is of considerable commercial value to businesses and that provides an enterprise with a competitive edge may be considered a trade secret. In practice, this could be:

  • sales methods
  • distribution methods
  • consumer profiles
  • advertising plans
  • pricing strategies
  • lists of suppliers and clients
  • manufacturing processes

In other words, more often than not trade secrets are the ‘know-how’ that a business builds up over time. Typically, the longer the SME is in business the more valuable its trade secrets will become, and the more its business grows the more its competitors will seek to discover this valuable working knowledge. Therefore, it is increasingly important to take steps to protect trade secrets. Continue reading “Handling of Trade Secrets in South-East Asia: Focus on Thailand” »