Thailand: Draft Geographical Indication Act: A Summary

Last Updated: 19 June 2002
Article by Vipa Chuenjaipanich

Rationale

Thailand has been preparing its own policy for the protection of geographical indications to prevent general public con-fusion or deception as to the geographic source of goods. The said policy is in compliance with Thailand’s commitment under Articles 22-24 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights in the Annex of the Mara-grace Agreement on the Establishment of the World Trade Organization. As existing Thai legislation is not adequate to support such policy of protection and commitment, Thailand is in the process of enacting a new law that specially provides protection for geographical indications to ensure such protection and to comply with the TRIPs Agreement. The Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) has completed the draft Geographical Indication Act, which is now under the consideration of Parliament.

Definition

"Geographical indication" means a name, symbol, or any other thing used to call or represent a geographic source, that identifies goods as originating from a geographic source where a quality, reputation, or specific characteristic of the goods is attributable to that geographic source.

Registrable Geographical Indications

To receive protection under the Act, a geographical indication must be registered with the DIP. A geographical indication must not be:

  • a generic name for goods used with such geographical indication; or
  • contrary to peace and order, good public morality, or national policy.

A geographical indication from an-other country, which is not protected under the law of that country or is no longer used in that country, is unregistrable under this Act.

Who Can Apply for Registration?

The following persons are entitled to apply for registration of a geographical indication.

  • An ordinary person or juristic person whose business is in goods used with the geographical indication in the geographic source of such goods.
  • A consumer group or consumer organization for goods used with the geographical indication.
  • A government agency, state work unit, government enterprise, local government, or other state organization with juristic status in the geographic source of goods used with the geographical indication.

Any person who is not a Thai national wishing to apply for registration of a foreign geographical indication in Thailand must possess one of the following qualifications:

  • He must be a national of a country which is a party to an international convention or treaty for the protection of geographical indications to which Thailand is also a party.
  • He must be domiciled or have an actual operating business enterprise in Thailand or a country which is a party to an international convention or treaty for the protection of geographical indications to which Thailand is also a party.

Procedures

An application must at least contain details relating to the goods used with the geographical indication, the geographic source of such goods, as well as the quality, reputation, or any characteristic of the said goods.

If an application for registration is not in accordance with the rules prescribed under the Act, the Director-General of the DIP will order dismissal of the application. The applicant is entitled to appeal to the Board of Geographical Indications within 90 days from receipt of the order. When the Board has ruled and the applicant is not satisfied with the decision, he is entitled to appeal to the court within 90 days from receipt of such decision. If legal proceedings are not instituted within the said period, the decision of the Board is final.

If the application is in accordance with the rules prescribed under the Act and the Director-General is of the opinion that the geographical indication is registrable, either with or without conditions, he will order the publication of acceptance for registration for opposition purposes. During consideration of the application, if necessary, the Director-General may seek expert opinion. Within 90 days after the publication date, any interested person may lodge an objection against the registration of the geographical indication. The applicant shall file a counterstatement within 90 days from the date of receipt of the objection, failing which the application shall be deemed abandoned. After the Director-General has issued a ruling, a notice of the order will be sent to both the applicant and the objector. Both parties are entitled to appeal to the Board against the Director-General's order within 90 days from the date of receipt of the order. When the Board has made a decision and either party is dissatisfied with the decision, they are entitled to appeal to the court within 90 days from receipt of the decision. If legal proceedings are not instituted within the said period, the Board's decision is final.

Term of Protection

Protection of a geographical indication becomes effective from the filing date of the application for registration and remains valid unless it is canceled.

Change or Cancellation of Registration

Any interested person or the competent official may request the Director-General to seek an order from the Board to change or cancel the registration of a geographical indication under the following circumstances:

  • when after registration, there emerges reliable evidence showing that the application for registration or the registration had been wrongfully or covertly done or contained false information;
  • when after registration, a change in circumstances takes place resulting in the geographical indication becoming a generic name or contrary to peace and order, good public morality or national policy, or the particulars related to the geographic source or other particulars changing from what had been registered earlier.

After the Board has made a decision to cancel or change the registration, any interested person dissatisfied with the Board’s decision is entitled to appeal to the court within 90 days from receipt of the decision (this does not apply in the case of a registration being cancelled on the grounds that the geographical indication was contrary to peace and order, good public morality, or national policy). Legal proceedings must be instituted within the said period, otherwise the decision of the Board is final.

Use and Cancellation of Use of a Geographical Indication

Persons entitled to use a registered geographical indication shall be the manufacturers of the registered goods who remain in the geographic source of the said goods, or entrepreneurs who engage in the trade of such goods.

Use of a registered geographical indication may be canceled in the following cases:

  • Where use is not in accordance with prescribed conditions and the Director-General has given notification but the person failed to comply within the prescribed period for no valid reason. The cancellation period will not exceed two years counting from the date of receipt of the notice.
  • Use of the registered geographical indication to mislead others into believing that goods not originating from the geographic source indicated in the application for registration, originate from the said geographic source;
  • Use of the registered geographical indication to confuse or deceive others as to the geographic source of goods and their quality, reputation, or other characteristic in order to cause damage to another entrepreneur.

Protection of a Geographical Indication for Special Goods

Use of a geographical indication with goods whose geographic source is not the one indicated in the application for registration is a wrongful act, even though the true geographic source of such goods has also been indicated, or any wording has been used or any act performed to express awareness of the true geographic source of such goods. Such expression of awareness of the true geographic source includes the use of the words "type", "category", "style", or similar words or items supporting the geographical indication used with such goods. However, any person is entitled to use a geographical indication with special goods if he has been using it for a period of ten consecutive years before April 15, 1994, or has been using it in good faith before such date. In cases where special goods have identical or the same geographical indications but different geographic sources, use of the geographical indications shall be in accordance with the rules and procedures prescribed by the Ministerial Regulations.

Penalties

  • Any person who has committed an act of using a geographical indication to mislead others into believing that goods not originating from the geographic source indicated in the application for registration originate from the said geographic source, or to confuse or deceive others as to the geographic source of the goods and their quality, reputation, or other characteristic in order to cause damage to another entrepreneur, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding 200,000 Baht (about US$4,878).
  • Any person who has committed an act of using a geographical indication with goods listed as special goods in the Ministerial Regulations, whose geographic source is not the one indicated in the application for registration, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding 200,000 Baht (about US$4,878).

Thailand: IP Developments is intended to provide general information on intellectual property and recent developments in this area in Thailand. The contents do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of competent professionals should be sought.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions