By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
THE GOVERNMENT will soon approve an amendment to the Trademark Act that adds protection to the sound of a product or service.
The draft bill also covered odours, but there were some objections, as the system, companies and agencies were not ready for that.
Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, acting director-general of the Intellectual Property Department, said yesterday that the wider protection would encourage innovation and inward investment.
The aim is also to cut red tape and the time required to register trademarks under both Thai laws and the Madrid Protocol, an international treaty to protect trademarks worldwide.
This bill will soon be proposed to the Cabinet and the National Legislative Assembly for ratification.
According to the draft, Thailand will allow enterprises to register the man-made sound of products that have a unique quality, such as those of a filmmaker or an ice-cream brand.
Natural sounds are ineligible.
The amendment will make the Trademark Act highly acceptable in the international arena, as many countries offer protection for sound.
The department has shortened the time to register a basic patent from one year to six months and also the time to give public notice for a trademark, patent or copyright from 90 days to 60 days.
Inventors have to advertise their innovation before getting approval to ensure it will not be duplicated by others.
The department will stringently punish unscrupulous businesses that use the trademarks of other companies’ shampoos, soaps or sauces and refill containers with other substances for resale.
The Commerce Ministry will hold the second “Top Thai Brands” fair from September 30 to October 4 in Udon Ratchathani to promote the products and services of local small and medium-sized enterprises to international traders, especially from neighbouring countries.
The event is expected to host more than 90 Thai and foreign exhibitors, generate more than Bt100 million in immediate sales and draw more than 50,000 visitors.
A variety of products and services will be displayed such as foods and beverages, garments, healthcare and beauty products, handicrafts, agricultural products and processed food, automobiles and machines, and services.