Thailand – Geographical Indication
Geographical Indication (“GI”) is a mark created for the certifying origin, quality, and reputation of products from specific local areas of each locality.
In Thailand, the Department of Intellectual Property is responsible for registration and certification of GI which has promulgated the Protection of Geographical Indications Act of B.E. 2546 (2003) (“GI Act”) to complied with Thailand’s obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The key points of the GI Act of Thailand are as follows:
1. GI must not be a common name of the goods and must not be contrary to public order.
2. Persons recognized by law and eligible to apply for registration and certification of their GI are: (1) government agencies, state agencies, state enterprises, local government organizations or other state organizations being juristic persons (2) natural persons, groups of persons or juristic persons operating business and trade and (3) groups of consumers or consumer organizations of GI products. In the case that applicants are not Thai, such applicants must have nationalities of countries being members of international agreement/convention related to GI that Thailand is a member with or have domiciles or real places of business in Thailand.
3. Foreign GI can apply for registration and certification under the GI Act provided that such foreign GI has been registered and certified in its country and been used until the date of applying for Thai GI.
Currently, Thai GI (i.e., Doi Tung Coffee, Durian Prachin, Lamphun Barcode Thai Silk, Pakpanang Tabtimsiam Pomelo, Thung Kula Rong-Hai Hom Mali Rice, Khao Yai Wine etc.) have been registered and certified in several jurisdictions including European Union, Republic of China, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India. The Department of Intellectual Property has a further plan to register more Thai GI in several countries and also to promote those in the global market.