Patents and Trademarks (Con't)
The Trademark Act of Thailand of 1991 governs registration of and provides protection for trademarks. The Act defines a trademark as a symbol used in connection with goods for the purpose of indicating that they are the goods of the owner of the trademark. The trademark must be “distinctive” and not identical or similar to those registered by others, and must not be prohibited by section 8 of the Trademark Act of 1991.
A. Registration Procedure
A trademark application must be completed by the proprietor or his agent, in Thai, and filed with the Trademark Office on official forms. The proprietor or his agent must have a place of business or address in Thailand at which he can be contacted by the Trademark Office.
If the Trademark Office deems the trademark registrable, and provided that no opposition to the trademark arises within 90 days of its publication in the official journal, the Trademark Registrar will grant a trademark registration.
B. Trademark Registration Period
Trademark registration is effective for a period of 10 years. Owners of trademarks must file an application for renewal at least 90 days prior to the expiration of their current trademark registration. A renewed trademark will be effective for an additional 10 years.
A trademark may be registered even if it is not being actively used. However, failure to utilize the trademark entitles third parties to challenge the rights of the trademark owner.
C. Penal Provisions for Trademark Infringement
The owner of a registered trademark has the exclusive right to use the trademark, and may initiate legal action against violators. It is a criminal offense to represent a trademark as registered when it has not been legally registered, or to sell, possess for sale, or bring into the Kingdom objects under such a pretense. This offense is punishable by imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to 20,000 Baht, or both. Presenting false evidence while registering a trademark is liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding 10,000 Baht, or both.
Anyone who forges another person’s trademark, registered in the Kingdom, or who sells, possesses for sale, or brings into the Kingdom objects with a forged trademark, shall be punishable by imprisonment not exceeding four years or a fine not exceeding 400,000 Baht, or both.
Anyone who imitates another person’s registered trademark in order to mislead the public into believing the imitation mark is that of the registered owner, or who sells, possesses for sale, or brings into the Kingdom objects with an imitated trademark, will be punishable by imprisonment not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding 200,000 Baht, or both. Whoever repeats these offenses within a five-year period is liable to double punishment.
D. The Board of Trademark Committee
In 1991, the Board of Trademarks was established to have the power and duties specified hereunder:
E. Service Marks, Certification Marks and Collective Marks
As of February 1992, these variations on trademarks are covered under all the provisions the Act and, hence, receive the same protection as trademarks under the law. In the case of service marks, all the words “goods” mentioned in the Act's provisions shall mean “services”.
The regulations concerning the use of the certification marks must:
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