U.S. Firm Applying for a Trademark in Thailand
While your U.S. trademark may be recognized in Thailand, little if any protection is available. However, U.S. companies are eligible to register their trademarks in Thailand. To be eligible for the business or its agent, which may be a local attorney, must have an address in Thailand. Although talks are underway, Thailand is not yet part of the Madrid System for International Trademark protection, so you will have to apply for trademark protection in Thailand in a separate process. In addition, Thailand is a civil law jurisdiction and does not recognize common law trademarks. While your U.S. trademark may be recognized in Thailand, little if any protection is available.
Thailand recognizes many of the same types of marks that are recognized in the U.S., including trademarks, collective marks, certification marks, and service marks. Thailand also uses the International Classification for Goods and Services, with which you may be familiar. Only brands, names, words, letters, photographs, drawings, devices, manuals, signatures, combinations of colors, shapes, the configuration of an object or any combination thereof can be trademarked in Thailand. Unlike the U.S. single colors cannot be trademarked. Trademark registration is valid for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely for subsequent periods of 10 years.
How to apply or register your Trademark in Thailand
1. Trademark Search
Before applying for trademark registration, you should complete a trademark search to see if any similar marks have been registered in Thailand and make the registration process more predictable.
2. Submit Application
Although your trademark can include English words, the application, and all documentation must be submitted in Thai. When you submit your application you will need to indicate which classes of goods and services you want to register for. Like in the U.S. you can submit your application before you start using your trademark and provide proof of use later.
3. Evaluation by the Trademark Registrar
The Trademark Registrar will determine whether your mark is distinctive and if it is identical or confusingly similar to existing marks. The Thailand Trademark Act of 2000 prohibits certain types of marks, including certain geographical names, marks that are immoral or resemble Thai national or royal emblems, names or representations. Trademarks pending for approval are published in the Trademark Journal.
If there are objections to your trademark you may submit amendments, additional statements and supporting documents within 90 days of the objection.
When your application is approved you will receive certificates of trademark registration for the classes in which you applied. To protect your mark, it is advisable to monitor the Trademark Journal for potential infringing trademark applications.
4. Register any Trademark Licensing Agreements
After your trademark is registered, you must also register any licensing agreements for your trademark. To register the licensing agreement, you and your licensee will provide the agreed-upon terms of the license agreement and proof of valid trademark registration.
5. Renew your Trademark
To keep your trademark, you need to submit your original certificates of registration with an application of renewal 90 days before your registration expires. Proof of use is not normally required.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Siam Legal is an international law firm with experienced lawyers, attorneys, and solicitors both in Thailand law and international law. This Thailand law firm offers comprehensive legal services in Thailand to both local and foreign clients for Litigation such as civil & criminal cases, labor disputes, commercial cases, divorce, adoption, extradition, fraud, and drug cases. Other legal expertise of the law firm varied in cases involving corporate law such as company registration & Thailand BOI, family law, property law, and private investigation.