On January 29, 2016, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha issued a statement on Thailand’s national agenda and the subject of intellectual property (IP). He emphasized the importance of IP rights and the role of Thai authorities in enforcing these rights, saying:
“We cannot violate other people’s intellectual property and we wouldn’t want other people to infringe upon our intellectual property either. Let’s figure out what we can do together. I’ve urged all government authorities involved to crack down on such violations. The authorities must not overlook this either. Authorities must also not employ double standards on their enforcement and must refrain from corrupt practices; otherwise, this will result in further damage. Pirated goods can cause significant damage.”
The prime minister also indicated his support for the “Don’t Buy, Use, or Sell Counterfeit” anticounterfeiting campaign and asked for the public’s cooperation in the fight against counterfeit goods.
In support of this initiative and protecting brands such as Diageo, Panasonic, Toms, Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, Pink, La Senza, Henri Bendel, Crocs, Tra-Chang, and Kubota, among others, Tilleke & Gibbins held three training sessions to instruct government officers on how to differentiate between genuine and counterfeit products. The training sessions aimed to:
- provide information on the characteristics of genuine and counterfeit products for officials to properly and efficiently inspect goods;
- educate government officers on how to take forceful and prompt action against counterfeiters and fake goods; and
- strengthen cooperation with government authorities on the front line of IP enforcement.
The training sessions were held on March 21, 23, and 24 and were attended by government officers from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB), Economic Crime Suppression Division Police Bureau (ECD), Department of Intellectual Property (DIP), and the Customs Bureau across Bangkok, Samutprakarn, and Chonburi in Thailand.
Almost 200 enforcement officers attended these training sessions. During the training, Mr. Kitti Sutthisumpan, Director of Laemchabang Customs Port, said that Customs officers have a very limited amount of time to inspect goods as they pass into the country through the Port. Training sessions such as these allow officials to do their work more effectively and efficiently.
These training sessions provided important guidance to government officers as they work toward stemming the tide of counterfeit goods. They also serve as an important reminder that brand owners should protect their valuable IP rights to the fullest extent possible.