The Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) held a Consultative Meeting on the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights on 25 April 2019 to highlight its most recent efforts to improve protection of IP and to strengthen dialogue and cooperation between owners of IP, all stakeholders and Thai government agencies.
The DIP discussed some of its most recent successes in IP protection and outlined its goals for the upcoming year and beyond, including its 20-year IP roadmap to reform Thailand’s entire IP system and which has been approved by the National Committee on Intellectual Property Policy. The establishment of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation has been approved by the NLA in March 2019 and will play a significant role in innovation-driven development by enhancing the inter-connectivity of various functions of science, research, education, and innovation.
The DIP also highlighted significant legislative developments and Thailand’s accession to international agreements concerning IP. In particular, Thailand is in the process of amending the Patent Act of 1979, which is currently under the review of the Council of State. Amendment to the Copyright Act in relation to Thailand’s accession to the Marrakesh Treaty was approved by the NLA and came into force in March 2019. Other amendments to the Copyright Act are currently under the review of the Council of State. Thailand also acceded to the Madrid Protocol, which is intended to facilitate trademark registration on a worldwide basis.
As for recent enforcement actions carried out by the DIP and other governmental agencies, the DIP mentioned that the Cabinet has instructed all key enforcement agencies to continue their intensive efforts to prevent and suppress IP infringement in physical and online markets. In 2018, 6,670 raids were conducted in physical (offline) markets, resulting in 10.8 million items seized, and 268 raids were conducted in online markets, resulting in 60,441 items seized. More than 2.1 million IP infringing items worth 1.3 million THB were destroyed in 2018. In December 2018, “COPTICS” was set up to be an online enforcement center to receive complaints and information related to online IP violations, and the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) has developed a system called “i-Mangmoom” or “i-Spider net” to help detect online pirated content. The DIP is developing a copyright database which will then be connected to this system to make it more effective.
As for the DIP’s direct efforts, it has recruited 71 patent examiners and 20 trademark examiners and has made available an electronic filing system. It mentioned that it regularly organizes seminars/workshops, and produces a number of pubic relations items to educate the public on IP (including the organization of a successful marathon event to generate innovative IP awareness). This year, the DIP is working with the Sports Authority of Thailand to raise awareness and showcase innovation and technology in the sports industry. The DIP also runs the Intellectual Property Innovation Driven Enterprise Center (IP IDE Center), provides an IP Mart to serve as the online platform for IP owners to showcase and sell their products, and organizes an annual IP Fair.
The DIP plans to hold its next consultative meeting in August 2019.