April 28, 2011

Functionality Exception in Thai Patent Law

IP Litigator

Unlike design laws in many countries where the functional aspect of an article is clearly excluded from protection, Thai law does not contain any limitation in this respect. Although the protection of designs has been offered to innovators under the patent law for more than thirty years, the issue regarding the functionality exception had not been brought to the attention of scholars and practitioners until recently. In the past few years, there have been cases filed before the competent Court giving us the opportunity to explore the issue of functionality exception under the provision of law and the interpretation of the law by the Court. This column discusses Thai law on patentability of design and related judgments in order to determine whether the Thai law and Court adopt the functionality exception into the design law system.

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