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April 28, 2011

The Need for an Alternative to the Patent Act

Bangkok Post, Corporate Counsellor Column

The rapid proliferation of mobile phones across the Kingdom demonstrates the vital importance of technology in the lives of Thai people—from metropolitan Bangkok to the rural provinces. With mobile phone companies launching new designs every other month, it is crucial to have a speedy means of protecting new designs, which are developed at significant expense. Currently, however, there is no form of design protection in synch with the accelerated time frames for production and launch demanded by trendy, tech-savvy consumers. Design patents offer the necessary protection, but a creator often needs to wait three or four years for design patent registration in Thailand. This article suggests that the competition laws in China and Japan may offer a model for potential unfair competition provisions that could be helpful for enforcement efforts in Thailand.