Hong Kong: Thailand - Intellectual Property - Patent

Last Updated: 20 November 1995
Most Read Contributor in Hong Kong, October 2018
Thailand promulgated its first patent law, the Patent Act, in 1979. The Act protects both inventions and product designs. Thailand has numerous bilateral agreements with other countries entitling citizens of those countries to file patent applications in Thailand. Thailand is not a member of the Paris Union or a signatory of any other international convention for reciprocal protection of patents.

Invention Patents

For an invention to be patentable, it must : (1) have novelty; (2) involve an invention type; and (3) be capable of being made or used for some kind of production activity.

Therefore, the following would not qualify for patents:

a) an invention widely known or used by others in Thailand before the filing of the patent application.

b) an invention, the subject matter of which was described in a document or printed publication, displayed or otherwise disclosed to the public, whether inside or outside Thailand, before the filing of the patent application. Disclosure or display of the invention at an international or official exhibition not less than 180 days before the filing of the patent application is not deemed disclosure under the previous definition.

c) an invention which has been granted a patent inside or outside Thailand before the filing of the patent application.

d) an invention which is the subject of an abandoned application in Thailand. This provision does not affect the rights of a joint inventor who did not jointly apply for a patent.

e) an invention which is the subject of a pending patent application filed more than twelve months previously in a foreign country.

Specific inventions that do not qualify for patents in Thailand are listed below:

1. food, beverages, and pharmaceutical products or ingredients;

2. machines specifically for use in agriculture;

3. animals, plants or biological processes for the production of animals or plants;

4. scientific or mathematical rules and theories;

5. computer programs;

6. inventions which are contrary to public order, health or welfare, and

7. inventions prescribed by Royal Decree.

Patentable Product Designs

A product design must be novel in order to patented : i.e., it must not fall under any of the following conditions:

a. a design widely known or used in Thailand before the filing of the patent application;

b. a design picture, the subject matter or details of which have been displayed or disclosed in a document or printed publication inside or outside of Thailand before the filing the application;

c. a design which so nearly resembles any of the product designs indicated in (a) or (b) above that it is apparently an imitation.

Product Designs Which are Not Patentable

1. product designs which are contrary to public order and good morals and

2. product designs prescribed by Royal Decree.


An inventor or product designer has the right to apply for a patent, as does a successor or assignee of the right. An assignment must be made in writing, signed by both the assignor and the assignee.

If, during the course of employment, an employee or contractor creates an invention or product design, the right to apply for a patent belongs to the employer unless otherwise stipulated by agreement.

The Patent Act requires that an applicant for a patent must be a Thai National or a National of a country which allows persons of Thai Nationality to apply for patents in that country.

Rights Conferred To Patent Holders

The patent holder or applicant is entitled to the following rights:

1. A patent for an invention is valid for a period of 20 years from the date of filing the application; a patent for a product design is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of filing the application. The time during which court proceedings regarding the issuance of the patent are in process may be excluded.

2. During the period of the validity of the patent, the patent holder has the exclusive right to produce and sell products using the patented invention or design. Any act performed before the patent is secured, which would otherwise constitute an infringement of the patent, is not deemed an infringement.

3. A patent holder has an exclusive right to use the words " Thai Patent", or an abbreviation or translation thereof.

4. A patent holder may assign the patent to another holder.

5. A patent holder may grant a license to another person, subject to restrictions as follows:

a. a patent holder may not impose any condition, restriction or royalty requirement defined by Ministerial Regulation as damaging or obstructing the development of the industry, handicraft, agriculture, or commerce of Thailand;

b. a patent holder may not require a licensee to pay a royalty or royalties after the validity of the patent has expired;

c. conditions, restrictions, or royalties which are contrary to (a) or (b) above are null and void.

6. Any assignment or license must be in writing and officially registered.

Compulsory Licenses

To discourage monopolies and the acquisition of patents simply to prevent other persons from manufacturing or producing the patented inventions or product designs, Section 46 of the Patent Act provides that:

"At any time after expiration of three years from the granting of a patent or four years from the date of filing an application for a patent, at the time of the application, it appears that:

1. for no legitimate reason, there is no production of the patented product nor application of the patented process in the country;

2. for no legitimate reason, there is no sale of the product produced under the patented process or there are sales of the same at unreasonably high prices or such sales do not meet the public demand."

Cancellation of Patents

A patent may be cancelled under the following conditions:

1. Although a patent has been granted, any person who has an interest in the patent or the public prosecutor may challenge its validity by petitioning the Court for cancellation.

2. At the end of six years from the granting of a patent, the Board of Patents may cancel the patent if it appears that, for no legitimate reason, either:

a. there is no production of the patented product nor application of the patented process in the country; or

b. there is no sale of products produced under the patent or under the patented process or there are sales of the same at unreasonably high prices or such sales do not meet the public demand.

In these cases, the Director-General must order an investigation and give the patent holder and any licensee thereof an opportunity to submit their statements within thirty days.

Foreign Patents

A foreign patent which has been granted a separate patent in Thailand receives no protection under the Patent Act. However, foreign patent holders or owners of rights to inventions or designs in foreign countries may enter into business transactions with parties in Thailand and seek equivalent protection through contractual obligations in the form of a licensing agreement. Since foreign patents, inventions and designs receive no protection under the Patent Act, no civil or criminal action can be taken against a third party who produces products or sells a patented product in Thailand without paying fees to the holder of the foreign patent or who applies in Thailand for a patent on an invention or design already patented available under a separate legislation.

NOTE: The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

If you would like further advice please contact: David Ellis, Johnson Stokes & Master, 16th Floor, Princes Building, 10 Chater Road, Hong Kong; Tel 2843 4226; Fax no. : 2845 9121. Alternatively do a text search "Johnson Stokes and Master" and "Business Monitor".

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions