Registering Sounds as Trademarks

As part of recent amendments to the Trademark Act B.E. 2534 (A.D. 1991), sounds may be registered as trademarks in Thailand.  While there was a significant lag between enactment of the amendments and the creation of the relevant infrastructure at the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) to handle trademark applications for sound, the DIP has recently announced that is is ready to accept applications.

To register a sound as a trademark, the applicant is required to submit the following to the trademark registrar:

  1. Description of the sound details, together with musical notations or sound spectrogram (if any);
  2. Specifications of the source or nature of the sound (such as a sound from a human, animal, or musical instrument); and
  3. Submission of an audio recording of the sound in a digital file format (such as a USB or flash drive).

Certain types of sounds remain unable to be registered, however, as follows:

  1. Sounds which are directly descriptive of underlying goods;
  2. Sounds which are used commonly in trade;
  3. Natural sounds of underlying goods; and
  4. Sounds which arise from the functioning of underlying goods.