There are 3 types of patents in Thailand. These patents also differ in the amount of time which the protection is grant for. There is a petty patent, invention and design patents. Note below the years each one is afford protection for.
If you are considering filing a patent in Thailand then speak to a lawyer about your needs. You will need to show in your documentation that the invention is not only new but also show that your invention has an industrial application. With regards to petty patents you don’t need the inventive step but the design however needs to show industrial usage.
Thailand is a member of the Patent Co-operation Treaty and you will need to seek legal advice on how best to file your patent under Thailand’s PCT laws. Since December 2009 Thai nationals and residents as well as corporations who live in a country that is part of the WTO or Paris Convention have been able to file their patents in Thailand. Thai patents are covered by the The Patent Act, B.E. 2522 (1979), as amended by the Patent Act (No.2) B.E. 2535 (1992) and the Patent Act (No. 3) B.E. 2542 (1999).
You have the ability to file your patent in Thailand or in your home country. Note however that once you have filed your patent in Thailand you can also file your patent in your home country with a priority claim based on the patent filing in Thailand. You would have 12 months from the date of filing in Thailand to designate which other countries you will be applying your patent in for.
The patent length is as follows. For a patent on an invention the protection is for 20 years. On a design the patent is for 10 years while a petty patent is for a period of 6 years. Note however that the petty patent is renewable for a period of 2 years and this can be done twice. With the renewals the petty patent can be protected for 10 years in total. Note that a design patent could also be a handicraft.
Note that you cannot file a patent which may constitute a threat to public order, morality, health, or welfare. You cannot file a patent such as scientific and mathematical rules and theories or naturally occurring processes. Further note that The Patent Act does not protect a patent granted in a foreign jurisdiction unless a corresponding patent application has been properly filed and granted in Thailand.
Finally note that the patent will also attract filing fees. For an invention your patent fee must be paid within the first 60 days of your patent application after the first 5 year period. Again take legal advice on how this will affect your business in Thailand if you are doing it in the name of a corporate.
Patent infringement penalties are low in Thailand and is only a prison sentence for up to two years, a fine not exceeding 400,000 baht, or both. If there is infringement then you will need to seek legal advice for damages.
Always take legal advice when dealing with patents and trademark registration in Thailand. See the contact details below if you wish to speak about your ideas in Thailand and also how the patent registration will grow your business and affect your corporate income taxes.