Thailand – from filing to grant

Our patent attorneys are registered to practise before the Australian, New Zealand and Singapore Patent Offices and they instruct patent attorneys registered before the Department of Intellectual Property on all aspects of Thai patent prosecution.

Thailand Patent Office

The government agency responsible for grant of patent rights in Thailand is the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP).

Key prosecution events

Key prosecution event
Deadline
Paris Convention Filing:
12 months from earliest claimed priority
PCT National Phase Entry:
30 months from earliest claimed priority
Substantive examination request:
within 5 years of publication in Thailand
Divisional application:
120 days after the receipt date of an office action ordering same

National phase entry

A Thailand national phase patent application must be made by 30 months of the earliest claimed priority date. View filing requirements for a Thai National phase application.

Convention applications

Thailand is also a contracting party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Consequently, a patent application can be validly filed in Thailand within 12 months of filing a corresponding priority application within any contracting member state of the Paris Convention. View filing requirements for a Thai Convention application.

Utility patents and 2nd tier protection

Petty patents are available in Thailand and provide a maximum 10 year term. They relate to inventions that are novel and susceptible to industrial application.

Examination, divisional applications and acceptance

i) Examination

After filing, applications for the grant of a patent in Thailand are first examined to ensure compliance with a number of formality requirements. Specifically, an application is examined to ensure that it is accompanied by all of the prescribed documents and does not include unpatentable subject matter.

Once a patent application passes the formalities examination, the application will be published upon payment of the prescribed fee. Any interested party may, within 90 days of the date of publication of the application, file an opposition to the application. The applicant has to file a counterstatement to the notice of opposition within 90 days of receiving the notice.

Within 5 years of the date of publication of the patent application, the applicant must request substantive examination. If the patent application was the subject of opposition proceedings and if the opponent opposition has been rejected, the applicant must request substantive examination within one year of the date of the final decision on of the Director-General of the Patent Office. An application will be considered to be abandoned if the request for examination has not been made within the prescribed time limit.

Examination involves amending the claims to be substantially the same as claims granted in another jurisidiction. Alternatively, a request for substantive examination on the grounds of novelty, inventive step, patentable subject matter and industrial applicability are typically outsourced to the Australian Patent Office. The following are unpatentable in Thailand:

  • naturally occurring micro-organisms and their components, animals, plants or extracts from animals or plants;
  • scientific or mathematical rules and theories;
  • computer programs;
  • methods of diagnosis, treatment or cure of human and animal diseases; and
  • inventions contrary to public order, morality, health or welfare.

An applicant has 90 days to respond to official actions sent by the Patent Office. A further 90 day extension, and a final 30 day extension may be requested if required.

ii) Divisional applications

Thailand does not permit the filing of voluntary divisional applications. A divisional may only be filed in response to a unity of invention objection. In that case, the applicant has 120 days from the date of the objection to file the divisional application.

iii) Acceptance

If the patent application satisfies all of the formality requirements, is not successfully opposed, and passes substantive examination, the Patent Office shall order the patent to be registered and granted and the applicant is to pay the prescribed grant fee.

There are no procedures for third party observations or re-examination in Thailand other than the pre-exam opposition procedure.

Micro-organisms

Thailand is not a signatory to the Budapest Treaty. However, the DIP generally applies the Treaty to applications relating to micro-organisms as if it was a signatory and so will nonetheless take the deposit into consideration when determining whether or not the description is sufficient.

There is no express statutory exclusion to patent eligibility of isolated nucleic acid molecules.

Renewals

For details on the renewal requirements in Thailand, view South East Asia – Renewal Requirements.

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