Patent protection in Thailand.

Last updated: March 11, 2021
Patent protection in Thailand

In this guide, you will learn the essential topics on patent protection in Thailand.

Getting a patent for your invention or design provides many benefits, such as having the right to stop other people copying or selling your invention or design without your permission. Foreigners are able to file patents in the country but will only be protected in Thailand as Thailand is not a member of any international patent convention.

Let’s find out more on patents and what can or cannot be filed.

What is a patent?

A patent is a legal document issued to grant protection for an invention or a design, based on section 3 of the Patent Act 1979.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.

Types of patents

There are three types of patents that can be protected under the Patent Act 1979, which are:

  • Invention patents
  • Petty patents
  • Design patents

Invention patents

An invention is any innovation or invention that creates a new product or design. Inventions must fulfil the following conditions in order to be patentable:

  • The invention is new
  • It involves an inventive step
  • It is capable of industrial application

What inventions are not protected under the Patent Act?

The following inventions are not protected:

  • Naturally occurring microorganisms and their components, animals, plants or extracts from animals or plants
  • Scientific or mathematical rules or theories
  • Computer programs
  • Methods of diagnosis, treatment or cure of human and animal diseases
  • Inventions contrary to public order, morality, health or welfare

Applicant qualifications

Under section 14 of the Patent Act, an applicant for a patent shall possess one of the following qualifications:

  • Being a Thai national or a juristic person having its headquarters located in Thailand.
  • Being a national of a country party to a convention or an international agreement on patent protection to which Thailand is also a party.
  • Being a national of a country which allows Thai nationals or juristic persons having their headquarters to apply for patents in that country.
  • Being domiciled or having a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in Thailand or a country party to a convention or an international agreement on patent protection to which Thailand is also a party.

What must the invention patent application contain?

According to section 17, the application for a patent shall contain:

  • The title of the invention
  • A brief statement of its nature and purposes
  • A detailed description of the invention in such full, concise and clear and exact terms as to enable any person ordinarily skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the invention and sets forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor to carry out his invention
  • One or more clear and concise claims
  • Other items prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations

What is the protection period for invention patents?

The invention patent has a term of 20 years since the date of filing the patent application in Thailand.

Design/industrial patent

A design/industrial patent is a patent to protect the design, shape or configuration including the composition of lines or colours of a product.

The design must be new and capable of industrial application.

What designs are not new?

Designs that are not considered as new under section 57 include:

  • A design which is widely known or used by others in this country before the filing of the application for a patent
  • A design which was disclosed or described in a document or a printed publication in this or a foreign country before the filing of the application for a patent
  • A design which was published under section 65 and section 28 before the filing of the application for a patent
  • Any design so nearly resembling any of the designs prescribed in the above as to be an imitation

Under the Patent Act, what designs are unpatentable?

There are two types of designs that are unpatentable, which are:

  • Designs that are contrary to public order or morality
  • Designs prescribed by a Royal Decree

What must the design/industrial patent application contain?

According to section 59, every application for a patent shall contain:

  • A representation of the design
  • An indication of the product for which the design is to be used
  • A clear and concise claim
  • Other items prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations

What is the protection period for design patents?

The design patent has a term of 10 years since the date of filing the application.

Petty patent

What is a petty patent?

A petty patent is a document issued by the government to protect the invention only, not the product design.

Section 65 bis states that a petty patent may be granted for an invention in respect of which the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The invention is new
  • It is capable of industrial application

Can a person apply for both a petty patent and a patent for the same invention?

No, it is not possible to apply for both.

However, the applicant for a petty patent or an invention patent may request to convert the application for a petty patent to an invention patent or an invention patent to a petty patent before the registration of the invention and the grant of a petty patent or before the publication of the application.

What is the protection period for petty patents?

The protection period for petty patents is six years from the date of filing the application in the country.
The owner of the petty patent can request for an extension for the petty patent by two periods, which each period is valid for two years. To extend the protection period, the owner must submit a request to the competent officer within 90 days before the expiry date.

Fees

The maximum fees for patents in Thailand are as follows:

  • An application for a patent – THB 1,000
  • Publication of a patent application – THB 500
  • A patent or petty patent – THB 1,000
  • Annual fees for invention patents:
    • Fifth year – THB 2,000
    • Sixth year – THB 4,000
    • Seventh year – THB 6,000
    • Eighth year – THB 8,000
    • Ninth year – THB 10,000
    • Tenth year – THB 12,000
    • Eleventh year – THB 14,000
    • Twelfth year – THB 16,000
    • Thirteenth year – THB 18,000
    • Fourteenth year – THB 20,000
    • Fifteenth year – THB 30,000
    • Sixteenth year – THB 40,000
    • Seventeenth year – THB 50,000
    • Eighteenth year – THB 60,000
    • Nineteenth year – THB 70,000
    • Twentieth year – THB 80,000
    • Or payment of all annual fees in one payment – THB 400,000
  • Annual fees for design patents:
    • Fifth year – THB 1,000
    • Sixth year – THB 2,000
    • Seventh year – THB 3,000
    • Eighth year – THB 4,000
    • Ninth year – THB 5,000
    • Tenth year – THB 6,000
    • Or payment of all annual fees in one payment – THB 20,000
  • Annual fees for design patents:
    • Fifth year – THB 2,000
    • Sixth year – THB 4,000
    • Or payment of all annual fees in one payment – THB 6,000
  • Fees for the extension of the terms of petty patents:
    • First extension – THB 14,000
    • Second extension – THB 22,000
  • An application for conversion of a patent or petty patent – THB 500

Conclusion

Acclime has a professional legal team that is willing to provide advice on getting patent protection in Thailand.

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