The Thai Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) has increased its examining body around 370% - 143 examiners now when compared with 39 examiners only two years ago. While we anticipate the Thai patent office will still rely heavily on the Australian patent office examining body, the increase in examiners should result in higher throughput than has previously been achievable in Thailand.

The changes are expected to dramatically reduce the timeframe from filing to grant for all forms of IP. Indeed, evidence shows that timeframe is already 40% shorter than it was 5 years ago.

The move by the DIP comes at a useful time, with many IP rights holders moving into Thailand to take advantage of the recent changes to research & development tax concessions. This will strengthen the DIP’s direct involvement in the examination and protection of relevant IP rights. This may also develop Thailand as an originating jurisdiction for opinions on which related applications in the ASEAN region can be expedited under the ASPEC work-sharing regime.

Ultimately, it is envisaged the DIP intends to bring most of its IP rights examination procedures onshore. It is therefore becoming more important to have your or your clients’ IP matters handled by experts in Thai IP law. DCC’s internal advisor for Thailand, and our Thai partner, can assist you in you in these matters.