April 28, 2011

The Legal Problem of ‘Trade Dress’ Under the Trademark Act

Bangkok Post, Corporate Counsellor Column

Thai courts have yet to determine whether “trade dress,” or the look and feel of a product’s packaging or presentation, should be legally protected under the Thai Trademark Act of 1991. In fact, despite its importance for consumers, the subject rarely arises. This stands in contrast to the ongoing legal debate surrounding conventional trademark issues, such as trademark similarity or the registrability of three-dimensional trademarks, sounds, or smells. To understand the complexity of the trade dress issue, this article examines the concept from an intellectual property standpoint.