By James Stewart
In an exciting development for the international trademark field, the Thai Parliament has issued its approval to move forward with Thailand’s proposed admission to the Madrid Protocol. The Thai Parliament must now amend its trademark laws to conform with the Madrid Protocol. Thailand’s Trademark Office has drafted these amendments which are currently under review. Upon completion of the review period, these revisions must be approved by the legislature. This revision and approval process will take approximately six months.
The Madrid Protocol is an international treaty that was adopted in 1989 to introduce new features into the system of the international registration of trademarks. This system allows trademark owners to apply for protection in multiple countries by filing a single application through the Trademark Office in their home country. The Madrid Protocol eliminates high filing costs typically associated with filing national applications in each foreign jurisdiction. It also affords trademark owners multiple country cost-savings in the post-registration stage, renewals, name or address changes of the owner, and assignments.
Thailand is Southeast Asia’s second largest economy after Indonesia. Analysts predict the Thai economy will grow by 5.5-6.0 percent in 2012. This growth, combined with the proximate availability of the efficient Madrid Protocol system, makes Thailand an even more attractive destination to brand owners considering expansion.
Thailand has set a goal of 2015 to obtain full membership to the Madrid Protocol, though this parliamentary approval indicates Thailand may be a member as soon as 2014.
Does the availability of Madrid Protocol protection affect your brand’s international expansion plans? Do you currently own a national trademark registration in Thailand?