Registering a trademark in Thailand enables you to gain exclusive rights to use a particular mark as your unique brand. Although registering a business name grants you limited protection, trademark registration allows you to take legal action in the case of imitations or infringements that may result in an external party profiting from your company’s brand.
Therefore, the best way to protect your business is to register both your business name and mark, as it will ensure the time and money you spent developing your intellectual property will not have been in vain.
Numerous Thai companies consider trademark registration to be their most effective protection against the illegal usage of their business mark. Trademark registration not only protects but also validates the integrity of your business.
Maintain Your Business’s Originality
With the competition growing in the majority of industries at a substantial rate, maintaining the originality of a business is becoming increasingly more difficult. Registering your trademark will ensure no competitor steals or imitates your mark.
Competitors may make use of your trademark to sell their products, and consumers may not be well-informed enough to distinguish your business from theirs. This confusion could result in your reputation being blemished by lower-quality products being mistaken for yours, ultimately affecting your business’s income and success.
Being the owner of a business, you undoubtedly rely heavily on your reputation for providing excellent products and services to generate customers, and protecting your trademark will prevent competitors from abusing the goodwill of your business for their own gain. Therefore, registering your trademark is highly recommended, as your mark is also your intellectual property.
The Copyright Act B.E. 2537
The Copyright Act of 1994 penalizes individuals who are aware that a work is created by infringing the copyright of another and attempts to distribute such work in exchange for profit. Such infringements include communication that has the potential to damage the copyright owner.
The Copyright Act, therefore, ensures your trademark is protected and exclusively available for use by you, the owner. Whether you are looking to protect a pre-existing company or a new business, trademarking is the single best way to protect your intangible assets.
Trademark Act, B.E. 2534 governs the protection of Thai trademarks, and the Penal Code, the Trademark Act, and the Civil and Commercial Code govern the enforcement of Trademark rights. Trademark law in Thailand protects any form of commonly protected marks, including words, photographs, signatures, letters, paintings, numerals, etc., and further protects groups of colors, three-dimensional objects, and the combination of images.
It is worth noting that Thai trademark legislation dictates that the first person to file for trademark registration will be successful, regardless of whether they designed the mark or not. This means that a competitor will be able to successfully register your mark as their own if you have not registered it, effectively prohibiting you from using your own mark. Your rights over a mark can only be enforced if you have registered it first.
Benefits of Trademark Registration
Registering your trademark effectively grants you the exclusive right to use your trademark to distinguish your services or products on- and offline.
The successful registration of your trademark also enables you to take legal action against any party attempting to infringe upon your rights to the mark by using it illegally.
Registering your trademark provides you with valuable intellectual property that you have the right to sell or license to an external party.
The Process of Registering a Trademark
Before filing a trademark application, you are required to conduct a comprehensive search of all relevant Thai trademark databases. Such initial searches will clarify whether your mark is available to be registered by revealing trademarks that may be confused with or be identical to your own.
If the search unearths another business holding the ownership of a similar mark, you will experience more difficulty registering the mark. An existing trademark owner may also take legal action when it becomes known that you attempted to register a similar or identical trademark, as it is deemed an infringement upon their rights.
If no such challenges arise, your application will be filed with IP Thailand before being lodged and examined for registration eligibility. Your application must include a detailed and accurate description of the services or products your business offers and an outline of the intended use of the trademark.
Before your trademark application is submitted, a thorough trademark search will be conducted by IP Thailand to ensure no similar mark is already registered. If you submit a subsequent application, the Trademark Registrar will likely require statements, explanations, and opinions on the matter.
Therefore, you are advised to seek the guidance of a competent Thai lawyer to handle such requests on your behalf, thereby ensuring a time-efficient and successful outcome.
Criteria for Trademark Registration in Thailand
The trademark you wish to register must be entirely distinctive and can not be similar to a trademark registered by another trader. Your trademark may also not be prohibited by the Thai Trademark Act.
Once you have submitted your application and it satisfies the relevant criteria, it will be subject to an opposition period during which another party may attempt to oppose the eligibility of the registration.
After the opposition period has been completed and no oppositions have occurred, your registration will be approved, and you will be provided with the sole rights to the mark as its trademark owner.
Requirements for Registering a Trademark in Thailand
- A logo of the trademark you wish to register with its exact details and colors.
- If the company registering the trademark is based abroad, a copy of the company affidavit is required. If not, an original set of the company affidavit is required.
- A power of attorney that is signed. If the company is based abroad, the documents must be notarized.
- A signed passport copy of the authorized director or directors.