The new Trade Mark Act was published in the Royal Gazette on 29 April 2016 and will come into force in Thailand on 28 July 2016. The new Act brings several changes, including the long-anticipated accession to the Madrid Protocol.
The significant changes under the new Act are as follows:
1. Sound marks: The new Act allows registration of sound marks, provided that they are not directly descriptive of applied goods, the natural sound of applied goods or the sound arising from the functionality of applied goods.
2. Multi-class applications: Multi-class applications will be available.
3. Time frame for dealing with office actions and oppositions: The allowed time frame for dealing with office actions and oppositions will be reduced from 90 days to 60 days.
4. Association of marks no longer required: Association of marks will be abolished. This will affect all associated marks under the previous Act as if they were not registered as associated marks.
5. Partial assignment: Assignment either for the whole or parts of the goods will be allowed.
6. Official fees: Official fees, particularly for filing, registration and renewal will be increased.
7. Renewal grace period: A grace period for renewal of six months from the expiry date will be available. A 20% surcharge of the official renewal fee is required during the grace period.
8. Refilling: The new Act provides an offence for the unauthorized refilling of genuine packaging or container to mislead consumers about the origin of the goods.
9. Madrid Protocol: The new Act provides provision of international trade mark registration under the Madrid Protocol. The accession to the Madrid Protocol will require a separate Royal Decree which is expected to be issued in fourth quarter of 2016.