There are a number of significant amendments to IP legislation currently being proposed in Thailand and which are before Parliament. A summary of some of the key bills currently being considered is provided below.
- The Trade Secrets Amendments Bill has recently been passed. The main amendments of the Bill include:
- Relaxation of the minimum qualifications of the Trade Secret Commission members;
- Changes to quorum requirements for Commission meetings; and
- Reduction of penalties for trade secret violations to bring them in line with international standards.
The date on which these amendments will come into force is yet to be announced.
- Two Trademark Act Amendment Bills have been submitted in order to comply with requirements before Thailand's accession to the Madrid Protocol. One bill addresses the introduction of sound and smell marks and their criteria for distinctiveness, and a reduction in the time allotted to respond to Registry notices. The other bill covered the introduction of multi-class applications, the removal of association requirements and separate assignment of rights, a grace period for renewal, a central attack system, and other Madrid Protocol specific issues. However, on 12 November 2014, the Cabinet ordered the return of both amendment bills to the DIP, citing confusion as to the need for two separate bills, and ordered the DIP to combine all the amendments in a single bill.
- The Data Protection Bill is also currently being considered by the National Legislative Assembly although recent submissions by an interest group may delay progress, particularly as the Cabinet has expressed the need to carefully consider matters given this legislation will have implications on other laws and will have a wide impact on the public, governmental agencies, and private organizations.