May 3, 2011

Distinctiveness of Marks Under Current Thai Practice

Guide to the World’s Leading Trade Mark Law Practitioners

One of the common reasons Thai authorities refuse to allow marks to register is because they are descriptive of the goods or services that fall under the mark, and thus lack distinctiveness. According to the current practice, the Thai Registrar checks for any possible linkage between the meaning of the mark and the goods or services to be registered; if one is found, the Registrar will reject the registration of such mark. The trademark applicant is then entitled to file an appeal petition with the Board of Trademarks. Nevertheless, the view and practice of the Trademark Registrar and the Board of Trademarks are usually the same. Consequently, trademark applicants frequently face the need to file an appeal to the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court (IP&IT Court) and finally to the Supreme Court to obtain protection of their marks. This is true for both word marks and three-dimensional marks, as demonstrated in this article through the use of examples.

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