Under the provisions of Thailand’s Trademark Act of B.E. 2534 (1991), as amended, a trademark’s registered owner has the exclusive right to use the trademark. The registered owner also has the right to seek legal penalties that are provided for trademark infringement.
There are essentially two legal actions that can be taken against an infringer – criminal and/or civil.
A person who uses a trademark without having been granted a license by the trademark’s owner is considered to have infringed the trademark. The Royal Thai Police can be informed of such infringement and to search for, inspect and seize infringed items.
Anyone who counterfeits a mark registered in Thailand by another person is liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding four years or a fine not exceeding 400,000 baht, or both.
A person who imitates a mark that has been registered in Thailand by another person, with the intention of misleading the public into believing that it is their own mark, is liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding 200,000 baht, or both.
Registration of a copyright is not required for a copyright to be protected in Thailand. The author of a work may bring an action against an infringer for violations even if the work has not been registered. It is to the author’s benefit, however, to have notified authorities of the work for the purpose of evidence in any future dispute or litigation.
One of the rights granted to a work’s author under the Act is that they may petition the court to grant a preliminary – or temporary – injunction against an infringer either during or before the copyright infringement.
A copyright is considered to have been infringed when a person other than the work’s author creates, reproduces, adapts or communicates the work to the public, or sells or lets copies be sold, distributed or imported, without the author’s prior consent. Exceptions to infringement include the use of an author’s work for one’s personal benefit; for the purpose of comment, criticism or reporting; for non-profit research or study; for teaching purposes; and for the benefit of administrative and judicial proceedings.
The Intellectual Property and International Trade Court is the first venue for copyright infringement disputes. Anyone who infringes a copyright by reproducing a work without the copyright owner’s permission is subject to a fine of 20,000 to 200,000 baht. If the infringement was committed for commercial gain, the offender is subject to imprisonment for a term of six months to four years, or a fine of 100,000 to 400,000 baht, or both.
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