Thailand - Trademark Law Amended
The Trademark Act of 1991 has been amended and the principal changes are summarized below.
(1) The definition of a registrable trademark has been broadened to include a combination of colors represented in a special manner and three-dimensional shapes, if distinctive.
(2) Marks which form a part of an applicant's company name and do not include the legal status of the company (e.g. Inc., Co. or Ltd.) may now be registered in plain block letters. However, the full name of a company, i.e. one which indicates its legal status, may only be registered if it is shown in a stylized form and is not descriptive of the goods.
(3) A trademark consisting of a geographical indication will not be accepted for registration.
(4) A priority claim may be made by the following:
a) nationals of countries which are members of an international convention or treaty for the protection of trademarks of which Thailand is also a member;
b) trademark owners who have business enterprises that operate industrial or commercial enterprises or are domiciled in countries which are members of an international convention or treaty for the protection of trademarks of which Thailand is also a member; and
c) proprietors of trademarks whose goods have appeared at an international exhibition held in a country party to an international convention or treaty for the protection of trademarks of which Thailand is also a member, or an international exhibition organized by a government agency or state enterprise of such country.
(5) The filing date in Thailand will now be considered the registration date, even for applications filed with a priority claim. Before the law was amended, the filing date of an application was replaced by the priority date after the registration was granted.
(6) Additional grounds for cancelling trademark registrations have been introduced. A cancellation action may now be brought against an identical or confusingly similar trademark registration for goods in the same or a different class but of the same character.
(7) A Registrar or other competent officers will now have the authority to enter and search premises suspected of containing infringing goods and confiscate them. They will also be empowered to stop, enter and inspect vehicles of any person suspected of carrying infringing goods, and arrest an offender without obtaining a search warrant under specified circumstances.