The Trademark Act (Issue No. 2) 2000 entered into force on 30 June 2000. The most important aspects of the amendment are as follows:-

·         The amendment of the objection to trade marks consisting of juristic (company) names. Under the existing law, an application to register LYSAGHT filed in the name of Lysaght & Co. Limited would attract such an objection, unless represented in a special or particular manner. Under the amended law, only an application to register the company name in full (not represented in a special or particular manner) would attract such an objection.

·         Combinations of colours represented in a special or particular manner will be registerable, as will 3-dimensional shapes if deemed distinctive.

·         Publication fees are abolished, but applications will be published automatically for opposition purposes after acceptance.

·         Priority can now be claimed by applicants from all WTO member countries.

·         Previously, cancellation petitions against Registrations on the basis that the petitioner has a better title to the trade mark, i.e. against Registrations obtained in bad faith, had to be filed through the Thai Courts within 5 years of the grant of the Registration concerned. Such actions may now be filed before the Trade Mark Board at the Registry, and there is no 5 year statute of limitations. However, cancellation proceedings before the Board are only available to petitioners with registered trade marks in Thailand.

·         The Trade Mark Board of the Registry must now include individuals from the private sector with a specialist knowledge of intellectual property. It is hoped that this will lead to more sensible decisions in the future.

Whilst we take the view that Thailand is in need of a completely new Trade Marks Act, these amendments to the law should nevertheless be welcomed as a step in the right direction.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information.