Welcome to the first episode of our comprehensive series on Patenting in Thailand. In this journey through the world of patents, we’ll unravel the complexities, demystify the terminology, and provide valuable insights into protecting your innovative ideas and designs. Whether you’re an aspiring inventor, a seasoned innovator, or a business owner looking to safeguard your intellectual property, this series is your guide to understanding and navigating the patent landscape in Thailand.
What is Patenting?
Patent is a legal document issued for the purpose of protecting an invention and design. The patent shall grant an exclusive right to the patent owner to produce, sell, lend, or distribute an invention under the protecting countries, in which the patent owner shall be able to prevent the other from producing, selling, distributing, or importing a patented invention, no matter the purpose of said invention is whether functional product or ornamental design that including shape, pattern or color of the said product. However, in order to gain this exclusive right, the patent applicant is required to disclose their description and content of their invention to an Intellectual Property Office in their requested countries. An Invention or design that not being protected by patent tends to be challenging for inventors or designers to improve to those invented ideas and difficult to be effectively commercializing their inventions such as establish an innovation-focused business or license-out their invention to the others to produce, sell or improve.
Type of Patent in Thailand
Under the Kingdom of Thailand Patent Act, patents shall be categorized into 3 types.
- Invention Patent
- Petty Patent
- Design Patent
An Invention Patent shall protect the invention which is being used or utilized. The invention may include characteristics, components, mechanisms, structures, process, or methodology of producing the mentioned invention. The protection term of invention patent in Thailand is valid for 20 years from the date of filing, with an annuity official fee payment required.
During an examination process, the official examiner shall use 3 criteria to consider whether an application is applicable for granted as invention patent or being rejected.
- Novelty : To be eligible for an invention patent, the idea must be entirely new on a global scale. Applicants must demonstrate that their invention is distinct from existing ones by conducting thorough searches through domestic and international patent databases, among other sources.
- Inventive Step : An invention must exhibit a technical characteristic that isn’t obvious to someone skilled in the relevant technical field. This criterion often necessitates the expertise of individuals with a high level of technical knowledge. Alternatively, applicants can establish an inventive step by citing testing results, research summaries, or patentability search reports that support the uniqueness of their invention.
- Industrial applicability : Every element of the invention must be manufacturable under standard industrial processes. Moreover, the invention must hold value for various sectors of industry in Thailand without posing harm to society, violating moral values, or undermining public order.
NOTE : These following inventions are not able to request for protection under Thai invention Patent, Petty Patent and Design Patent
- 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 disease.
- Inventions contrary to public order, morality, health or welfare.
Samples of Invention that possibly granted as Invention Patent
- The method of producing new detergent power comprising variety of herbal substances (gasoline product substance-free). When applying this product through an abovementioned method creating positive outcome towards human living condition (should be filed along with product test result) such as eliminating germs on textile material surface, pervert germ spreading, removing stain and does not create toxic environment which containing better efficiency than traditional detergent power.
- New Hybrid System that effectively apply hydrogen energy into an engine, safe and cost-reduced more than an existing hybrid engine in the market.
- Golf club producing system that apply a digital information to assist an assemble, that facilitates the customers to modify the shape, style, curvature, and material of each individual needs. Under this producing system, it could instantly produce new golf club, making it possible for takeaways.
A Petty Patent shall protect an invention which being used or utilized. The invention may include the characteristics, components, mechanisms, structures, process, or methodology of producing an abovementioned invention. The protection term of petty patent in Thailand is valid for 6 years from the date of filing and can be request for extension twice for 2 years per term.
Unsimilar with an invention patent, the examiner shall not consider an invention step as the criteria of being patented which is more suitable for an invention with minor improvement or adjustment.
- Novelty : The invention must be globally new, distinct from existing inventions. As with invention patents, applicants must conduct thorough searches to establish novelty.
- Industrial Applicability : Every component of the invention must be manufacturable under standard industrial processes. The invention must also hold value for various industry sectors in Thailand and not pose harm to society, violate moral values, or destabilize public order.
NOTE : Petty Patent can be called in a various name depending on each country such as
Utility Model, Utility Patent or Utility Solution.
Samples of Invention that possibly granted as Petty Patent
- The design of golf bag that contain with a perfect proportional area, which is suitable for holding golf club to be not easily falling out or removed and having a socket for keeping other gears such as gloves, golf balls and golf tees.
- The boiling pot having a curved bottom for effective distributing heat from the stove to the pot, and reduce a boiling time.
- The cosmetic formular consisting of a nanometre of gold particle as component (can also be called “nanoparticles”) that make a skin that is bright and clear, with a sparkling appearance after the used.
A Design Patent shall protect the shape, pattern or colour of the product design, which means that the function and method of producing the product are not cover. According to the Thai patent law, the protection term of design patent is valid for 10 years from the filing date with annuity payment required. However, the total annuity fees are allowed to be paid at once during the registration process.
The Criterion of granting a design patent is similar to petty patent which are
1) Novelty : The design must be entirely new and distinct from existing designs. Applicants must conduct thorough searches to establish novelty.
2) Industrial Applicability : The design must be manufacturable under standard industrial processes, and it should hold value for various industry sectors in Thailand without causing harm to society, violating moral values, or destabilizing public order.
NOTE : Design Patent can be called in a various name depending on each country such as Design or Industrial Design
Samples of Design that possibly request for protection as Design Patent
- The plant pot with a round bottom.
- The refrigerator with shape similar to penguin.
- The motorcycle designs with a variety of designs but similar uses or functions.
Differentiation between 3 types of Patent in Thailand
Thank you for joining us in this first episode of our series. We’ve explored the fundamental concepts of patents and the types of patents available in Thailand. In the upcoming episodes, we’ll delve deeper into the patent application process, and provide strategies for successful patenting. Whether you’re on the verge of innovation or seeking to protect your existing creations, stay tuned for valuable insights that can help you achieve your patent goals in Thailand.