On 12 September 2019, a Destruction Ceremony was held by the Department of Intellectual Property in collaboration with the Internal Security of Operations Command, Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Police, Customs Department, and Department of Special Investigation (DSI) at the 1st Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment at Don Mueang, Bangkok. The Ceremony was presided over by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Mr. Jurin Laksanawisit. Baker McKenzie Bangkok attended the ceremony on behalf of various clients, including, among others, world leading animation and merchandising companies, tech companies, and cosmetics companies. The products destroyed in this ceremony were counterfeit goods seized during interceptions at various Customs ports, and those seized by the Royal Thai Police and the DSI during raid actions.
(Infringing products being destroyed) In total, 10,620,825 infringing products were destroyed (including apparel, leatherwear, footwear, watches, mobile phones, cosmetics, etc.). Of those, 9,818,358 items had been seized by the Customs Department, 251,019 items by the Royal Thai Police, and 551,448 by the DSI. The total value of such items was approximately THB 550 million (approx. USD 18 million). The infringing products were strictly secured and guarded by the officials during transport from various warehouses throughout Thailand to the Destruction Ceremony where they were shredded and crushed, prior to being transferred from the Ceremony site to an incineration facility. While the Thai government absorbed all costs related to the Ceremony, it was organized in a fully transparent and environmentally friendly manner, with full access and participation by media, intellectual property right owners, members of diplomatic corps and representatives from government agencies.
The Thai government has taken a strong position against intellectual property infringement and is trying to establish Thailand as a market where intellectual property rights are respected and enforced. However, the government is not only concerned about protecting IP rights, it also places great importance on consumer health and safety which is impacted by poor quality and unsafe products. By permanently destroying the infringing products, they are prevented from returning to the market or being exported to other countries. Doing this in such a public manner should cause current and would-be infringers to think twice about getting involved in infringing activities. In addition, intellectual property right owners should be encouraged to cooperate with government agencies in their efforts to continue seizing and destroying infringing products and cracking down on intellectual property infringement in Thailand.