Thailand’s IP landscape shows promise
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Thailand’s IP landscape shows promise

Satyapon Sachdecha of Satyapon & Partners analyses the patent landscape in Thailand, including changes to the law and current patent examination procedure

Editor: Nathan Wood, Business Development Manager, Satyapon & Partners Limited

Never in the history of Thailand have the conditions been more favourable for genuine rights holders in the country. The current government has fully embraced intellectual property as a key economic driver, and has formulated its policies to improve the IP landscape from end to end in the country to woo foreign investment by promoting Thailand as a safe market for IP. These efforts are championed by the prime minister himself, who chairs the intellectual property committee, so the initiatives and impetus are coming from the top of the country's executive branch, which carries an enormous amount of weight in Thailand. The changes can only be described as sweeping as every IP act in the country has undergone revision within the last three years, internal procedures have been streamlined in the patent and trademark offices, and the number of examiners has almost quadrupled in the patent office.

Highlights include:

  • amendments to the Trademark Act – effective July 28 2016;

  • accession to the Madrid Protocol – effective November 7 2017;

  • Thailand removed from US Priority Watch List for IP, December 15 2017 –recognition of the efforts to update and improve IP in Thailand by the US;

  • Thai Patent Office quadruples its permanent staff from 25 to over 90 examiners, with 15 more undergoing training at the time of publishing to bring the total to around 110;

  • sweeping changes to internal regulations at both the Thai trademark and patent offices in direct response to the prime minister's direction to speed up application times through more efficient internal processes, 2017;

  • amendments to the Copyright Act – took effect on March 11 2018;

  • cabinet has approved accession to the WIPO Copyright Treaty. It is now before the legislative assembly;

  • amendments to the Patent Act – ongoing.

In addition to the legal amendments and procedural reorganisation in the relevant IP offices, intellectual property has been at the forefront of the current government's public policy campaigns and is enjoying widespread dissemination through the government's own publicity as well as widespread coverage in local media.

Patent law changes coming soon to Thailand

Thailand is currently reviewing its patent process in order to speed up notoriously slow application processing times. The first step has already been taken as the number of permanent examiners was increased from 24 to over 94. The new appointments by the Thai Patent Office are to help overcome the backlog and ensure new filings are dealt with in a more timely fashion. The next logical step is streamlining the patent law and regulations themselves, reducing unnecessary legal roadblocks that slow down the system.

Our head of patent and litigation, Sukhprem Sachdecha, is currently a committee member of the Patent Reform Development Committee for the Thai Ministry of Commerce and a draft amendment to streamline the law, clarify ambiguities and bring the law in line with international standards is undergoing the final stages of review, and should be enacted in late 2019.

The drafting committee recently met to finalise the changes to the patent law. At the next committee meeting the Petty Patent Law will be under review. It is the hope of lawmakers, and the government that the amended laws coupled with so many new examiners will significantly cut down application processing time and make it more attractive to potential registrants to make Thailand part of their IP protection planning.

Patent timeframes improving – PPH route fastest method

Speaking of application times, we are already starting to see some real progress at the Thai Patent Office. The changes in internal procedures and quadrupling of patent examiners are starting to have an impact.

In late December 2018, we received notification to pay grant fees on a national phase entry application filed in January 2017, using the PPH route, in cooperation with the Japanese Patent Office, to accelerate examination. Less than two years to grant was absolutely unheard of even a few years back, by any entry method in Thailand.

This is especially good news for Japanese businesses as the Patent Prosecution Highway is the clear forerunner in terms of grant speed for patents in Thailand, which is a direct result of the close ties and cooperation between the Japanese and Thai governments.

Current examination procedure

After submission of all formality documents, the examiner will automatically conduct an examination to determine if the application complies with all requirements and the invention is a patentable subject matter. No request from the applicant is required for the examiner to conduct such examination. The applicant may file a request to defer publication.

If any office action is issued, the deadline to respond to the office action is 90 days from the date of receipt of office action. The applicant may request a first extension of 90 days and a second extension of 30 days. There is no official fee for requesting an extension. If the applicant does not respond to the office action, the application would be considered abandoned and cancelled.

If the application is in compliance with all formality requirements and the invention is patentable subject matter, the applicant will be instructed to pay a fee for the application to be published. Deadline to pay the publication fee is 60 days from date of receipt of instruction. If the applicant does not respond to such instruction, the patent office will issue a second notification. If the publication fee is not paid within 60 days upon receipt of the second notice, the application will be deemed abandoned and then cancelled.

After payment of the publication fee, the application will be published in the Patent Gazette. The Patent Gazette is usually issued on a weekly basis. In some weeks, more than one Patent Gazette is issued. The publication will reveal all the essential bibliographic data and the number of claims. However, the claims themselves are not published. The opposition period is 90 days from the date of publication.

Within five years from the publication date, a request for substantive examination must be filed. If no request is filed, the application will be deemed abandoned and then cancelled.

Section 27 along with Rule 13 of the Ministerial Regulation No. 22 requires that in the event the applicant files a corresponding application for the same invention in a foreign country, when the applicant receives the examination report or any document relating to examination from a foreign country, the applicant must submit such report or document along with a Thai translation thereof within 90 days upon receipt. The specific due date based on such regulation is 90 days from the date that the applicant receives the full examination results and grant of patent. However, the patent office does not strictly enforce the 90-day due date. In addition, the requirement of the Thai translation is also not strictly enforced. The Patent Office simply requires us to submit an English translation. Even though such provisions are not strictly enforced, it is advisable to submit the full examination results and grant of patent as soon as they are available to comply with the law and expedite the examination and grant.

The applicant is not required to submit information from all countries filed in, one is enough. According to Rule 13 of the Ministerial Regulation No. 22 Paragraph 2, if the applicant files a corresponding application for the same invention in more than one country, the applicant may submit the report or document from the country of first filing or from any country stipulated by the director-general. No acceptable or unacceptable country has ever been officially named.

In practice, the Thai Patent Office views Japan, United States, European Patent Office, and Australia, as jurisdictions with a well-developed patent examination practice. For these countries, we must submit the grant of patent and examination report. The Thai Patent Office also views China or Korea as acceptable. For Japan, China and Korea we will also need to submit an English translation of the examination report and claims. Acceptance of other countries largely depends on the examiner in charge of the application.

It is advisable to choose one of the above countries for the claims in Thailand to conform to. When a corresponding foreign grant that the applicant wants to rely on is submitted, the examiner will usually require the applicant to amend the description and claims of the application in Thailand to be exactly the same as the corresponding foreign grant submitted, aside from claims relating to subject matters that are not patentable in Thailand.

As noted above, accelerated examination can be requested using the DIP-JPO PPH route based on a granted Japanese patent. Accelerated examination can also be requested using the ASPEC route based on a granted patent in another ASEAN country, such as Singapore, Malaysia, or Vietnam.

If significant time has passed after filing a request for substantive examination, the examiner may conduct a search to check whether a corresponding application has been filed in another country and instruct the applicant to submit the examination results and grant of the corresponding foreign patent.

If a corresponding foreign grant is not available, the applicant is required to ask the Thai Patent Office to have the application examined by the Australian Patent Office or examined locally. This will incur additional official fees.

If the invention satisfies all conditions of patentability, the applicant will be instructed to pay the grant fee. Deadline to pay the grant fee is 60 days from date of receipt of instruction. After the grant fee is paid, the patent certificate will be issued. If grant fee is not paid by the deadline, the application will be deemed abandoned and then cancelled.


編集:Satyapon & Partners Limited 事業開発マネージャー Nathan Wood



- 商標法の改正– 2016年7月28日発効

- マドリッド議定書への加入– 2017年11月7日発効

- 米国はタイのIP環境の改善取り組みを認め、2017年12月15日に知的財産(IP)保護が不十分とみなされる米国の優先監視リストから同国を除外した。

- タイ特許庁は、常勤スタッフを25人から90人以上の4倍に増員し、さらに本文書発表時に15人がトレーニングを受けているため、合計で約110人となる。

- 2017年、首相の指示のもと、特許庁および商標庁の両方で抜本的な規則変更が行なわれ、効率的な内部手続きが行われるようになった結果、申請時間が大幅に短縮された。

- 著作権法の改正– 2018年3月11日発効

- 内閣がWIPO著作権条約への加盟を承認。現在は立法議会への法案提出前

- 特許法の改正–継続中




特許訴訟部門の長であるSukhprem Sachdechaは、現在タイ商務省の特許改革開発委員会の委員であり、法律の合理化、曖昧さの明確化、国際基準に準拠した法律の改正案の草案を作成している。 現在は審査の最終段階にあり、2019年後半には成立予定である。


特許申請期間の改善 - PPHルートが最速














前述のとおり、日本で付与された特許に依拠し、DIP-JPO PPHルートを利用すれば、早期審査が可能である。また、シンガポール、マレーシア、ベトナムなどの他のASEAN諸国で付与された特許に依拠し、ASPECルートを利用しても、早期審査が可能になる。




Dr. Satyapon Sachdecha



Dr Satyapon Sachdecha, a graduate of George Washington Law School, has been practising exclusively in the field of intellectual property law for over 30 years, founding Satyapon & Partners in 1995. He served as the president of the Intellectual Property Association of Thailand for five consecutive terms from 2009-2019. He is a registered patent agent and barrister in Thailand.

Satyapon & Partners has grown steadily into one of the top IP firms in Thailand, winning landmark cases before the Supreme Court in both patent and trademark prosecution, and leading the market in IP enforcement and litigation.

Sachdecha 博士は、ジョージ・ワシントン大学ロースクールを卒業、30年以上知的財産法の分野を専門とし、1995年にSatyapon & Partners を設立しています。同氏は、2009年から2019年まで5期連続してIntellectual Property Association of Thailand(タイ知的財産振興協会)の会長を努めました。また、タイにおける登録弁理士および法廷弁護士でもあります。

Satyapon & Partnersは、特許および商標のどちらの訴えの提起についても注目度の高いケースを最高裁で勝訴にし、また知的財産権の権利行使および訴訟において業界をリードし、タイで一二を争う知財事務所となるべく着実に成長しています。

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