One reason Thai authorities have not been successful in combating online IP infringements is that they have, so far, been ill-equipped in terms of legal instruments to battle online infringers. Indeed, the Computer Crime Act of 2007 contained no provision regarding Intellectual Property violations. A first step was made when the law was amended last spring granting authorities the power to block any website hosting “illegal content” under Section 20(3).
However, as part of the IP roadmap approved by the government last August, additional legislative tools will soon be made available to the enforcement authorities. New amendments to the 2007 Act plan will give powers to the IP Department to close or block IP infringing websites without intervention from the right holder. Presently it can only intervene following petition filed with the court by the copyright owner under the Copyright Act. Likewise, a new bill drafted by the Ministry of Digital Economy, in collaboration other government agencies, should come into law in the course of 2017. This piece of legislation should provide the necessary tools to eliminate the trade of counterfeits through platforms such as Facebook.
Although the practical workings of these reforms remains unclear to right holders and IP practitioners, they are expected to speed of authorities’ intervention after a case of infringement has been detected. Such improvement may prove crucial to the IP enforcement efforts in the online environment, where information travels quicker than it ever has.