Register a Trademark in Thailand
Updated on Tuesday 30th March 2021
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A trademark refers to the special sign that helps differentiate a company’s services, goods and many other items from those of another business in Thailand. The Department of Intellectual Property from the Thai Ministry of Commerce is in charge of the trademark issues in the country. After opening a company in Thailand, foreign businessmen should also take into account the registration of their trademarks in this country, in order to protect them. Our company registration experts in Thailand are able to provide you with detailed information about how to register a trademark in the country.
What are the main characteristics of a trademark in Thailand?
Trademark applications need to comply with certain rules. The proposed sign or symbol needs to have certain characteristics and entrepreneurs who are interested in trademark registration in Thailand need to be aware that the verifications will take into consideration these issues before the proposed mark can be registered.
A trademark that is deemed registrable in Thailand has the following characteristics:
- it is distinctive;
- it is not prohibited;
- it Is not the same as an already registered trademark.
For the purpose of trademark registration in Thailand, distinctiveness is key. A trademark can be distinctive when:
- it is a personal name or a surname with an ordinary signification;
- it is a word or a combination of words that do not express the quality of the goods; moreover, the words cannot be a geographical name;
- it is a unique combination of stylized letters or an invented word.
All of these characteristics can be taken into consideration by investors who are interested in trademark registration in Thailand. The application is submitted for specific types of goods in one or more classes, however, the applicant must clearly stipulate the types of goods for which trademark protection is intended. A single application cannot cover goods in different classes.
Only locally registered companies may apply for trademark registration in Thailand. This is required because the applicant or the agent needs to have an office or address with the Registrar in Thailand. The Registrar is allowed to require the applicant to translate any needed documents into Thai or ask for more information, explanations, or oral/written statements.
What are the main steps needed to register a trademark in Thailand?
It is good to know that Thailand is not following the Nice agreement regarding the worldwide trademarks, because of its own trademark classification system that includes 45 different types of goods. In order to properly move on with trademark registration in Thailand, the following criteria must be met:
- the applicant's signature for the trademark registration or the signature of the official individual who wishes to register the trademark;
- the applicant needs to present the color arrangement, the conceived word or name, the numerals and the designed letters;
- the name trade needs to be characterized in a unique style;
- is not necessary to choose a word that will make a reference to the character or quality of the goods;
- the invented device needs to be presented.
Our specialists in company registration in Thailand recommend you to make some research to see if the chosen trademark is registered or not. The Thai department of intellectual property is able to provide you with such information. The registered marks in another country will not be taken into consideration except the mark is believed to be popular or well-known.
What do you need to know before trademark registration in Thailand?
The Thai law regarding trademark registration in the country will not accept royal seals, emblems of the royal seals, official flags, marks matching with a diploma, medal or certificate, or any other mark that infringes the public morality.
The Thai Department of Intellectual Property distinguishes between several types of marks, as they are defined by the current law. Most of the time, entrepreneurs will be interested in the trademark, however, there are several other options and those who are interested in trademark registration in Thailand can check the following list:
- Trademark: the sign or symbol used by one company to differentiate itself from others on the market;
- Service mark: symbolizes the fact that the company offers a certain type of service and it helps the company differentiate itself from others offering the same service (for example, banks);
- Certification mark: this is used to show the affiliation to a certain type of service, mainly in terms of production or quality (for example, halal);
- Collective mark: this is used by affiliated companies, the members of an association or by groups of people; it can also be used by state enterprises.
It is useful to note that domestic trademark registration in Thailand is subject to a number of fees:
- 1,000 Baht for trademark registration for 1-5 items in a class of goods or services (the fee is per item);
- 9,000 Baht for more than 5 items in a class of goods;
- 2,000 Baht: the fee for opposing a trademark application (fee applicable per each objection);
- 4,000 Baht: the appeal fee against a decision of the Registrar;
- 2,000 Baht: for renewing the registration when there are 1-5 items in a class of goods and services; for more than 5 items the fee is 18,000 Baht;
- 200 Baht: the fee for searching if a trademark, a service mark or collective mark is already registered in the database; the fee applies on an hourly basis;
- 400 Baht: the request for a certified extract from the Register for a trademark; the fee is per copy.
Additional information about trademark registration in Thailand
In some cases, individuals who have filed a trademark application abroad and then, within six months file one to register a trademark in Thailand, can claim the filing date for the first foreign application to be the same as the filing date in Thailand. This is possible when:
- the applicant is a Thai national or a legal person that has headquarters in the country;
- is the citizen of a country that has entered into a convention or international agreement on trademark protection to which Thailand is also a party;
- is the citizen of a country that allows the same rights to Thai natural or legal persons and he has the headquarters located in Thailand;
- is domiciles or has an effective commercial/industrial establishment in Thailand.
If the first foreign trademark application is refused, the applicant may not claim this right.
Applicants should know that a trademark application can be cancelled by the Registrar if the trademark is not registrable under Section 6 of the Trademark Act. The applicant can appeal this decision within 90 days from receiving the cancellation notification.
Our team can provide you with more details on intellectual property enforcement and the operations that are conducted for this purpose.
Changing the trademark registration information
In some situations, individuals who register a trademark in Thailand may need to change the information provided or make mandatory corrections. This can be done while the trademark is still under analysis (taken under consideration for approval) or for one that has already been registered. Some examples include the following:
- changing the goods that are used under the trademark (can include only the cancellation of some of the goods that will or are currently used under the chosen mark);
- changing the name, the address and/or occupation of the trademark owner as well as those of the agent (or attorney, as applicable);
- canceling the appointment of the agent or attorney;
- changing the address of the office in Thailand or the point of contact in the country;
- changes in the applicant’s nationality or address;
- changes in the pictures submitted as part of the trademark (the picture for the non-essential part of the mark).
The experts at our law firm can provide more details on these situations and the laws that describe them in more detail (for example, the Trademark Act Section 52 and the relevant Ministerial Regulations).
The documents that are submitted when making a change or a correction in the trademark registration information are the application for the change or correction (a special form, in original) and the documentary evidence that is used to prove the change (1 copy).
When submitting a request for changing a trademark application, it is important to know that this must be done as soon as the applicant notices the fact that the submission is an incomplete or incorrect one. If the applicant cannot notify the authorities himself immediately, then the official who handles the application will duly note the changes that need to be made and the applicant will be noticed thereof, having the ability to make the corrections and the submissions within 90 days from the date the application to register a trademark in Thailand was submitted. If he fails to do so, the authorities will dismiss the application and the individual who made the submission will be informed thereof, having the right to appeal this decision. Fees payable in advance are nor refundable, except for a number of cases in which the law stipulates that they should be or when the applicant overpaid the fee (or paid the same fee two times because of an error made by the state official). The Intellectual Property Department evaluates refunds in each case. Our agents can offer you more information and assistance for making these payment refunds, if the law allows for this step.
Trademark assignment in Thailand
Those who register a trademark in Thailand should know that the rights associated with it can be assigned or inherited. This is done in accordance with the Ministerial Regulation and our specialists can provide more detailed information on the legal provisions.
The documents that are submitted for the assignment or the inheritance of a trademark right are listed below:
- the assignor’s and the assignee’s ID card and the Certificate of Alien Registration or the passport in case of foreigners;
- the Certificate of Juristic Person no older than 6 months (when the applicant is a legal person registered in Thailand; this is not required for companies that are incorporated in another country, under the laws applicable in that state);
- the inheriting heir’s ID card, passport or Certificate of Alien Registration, as applicable; the Certificate of Juristic Person is also required for the inheriting legal entity, if this is the case;
- the identification documents for the executors or the representative agents/attorneys, when the parties have appointed another individual to handle this step on their behalf;
- the death certificate or any other documents that prove that the trademark applicant has passed away;
- the inheriting heir’s statement that the deceased applicant has not made a last will; when the applicant has passed away without a will the interested parties (heir) will submit a court request for the appointment of an executor; our team can provide you with more details;
- the heritage allocation and the last will or court order that specifies the heritage;
- the trademark registration certificate.
Important details about how the document submissions are made are listed below by our attorneys:
- all additional documentary evidence, submitted at the same time;
- any documents that are not in Thai need to be submitted with their Thai authorized translations (which are signed by a certified translator);
- any copies of original documents must be certified copies (this is a step that is performed with a help of a public notary);
- when an individual submits more than one application for which original documents are required, he will include the original in only one application and then copies for the others (and will indicate which application includes the original).
If the manner in which a trademark right can be inherited or assigned in Thailand is of interest, please do not hesitate to reach out to our agents who specialize in the applicable trademark law and who can provide complete assistance for this purpose.
The Thai company formation is a quite simple procedure, and if you also wish to register the trademark, it is recommended to solicit help and guidance from our company incorporation agents in Thailand. It is good to know that a registered trademark is available for ten years since the day of the trademark application. If you wish to renew the trademark, it is recommended to prepare the documents within 90 days before the expiration date.
Please feel free to contact our team of company formation specialists in Thailand, if you need additional information about how to register a trademark in Thailand.