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Thai Law Insights

Patent Application through PCT in Thailand

Phungphong (Patrick) Tunganantiganon/Atthawut Rungrojkitiyos

What is the PCT system?

PCT is an international patent application filing system set up by the Patent Cooperation Treaty 1970 and managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This is to facilitate an international patent application and make the process more accessible to applicant's from member states and an applicant will only be required to initially file only one application for all the intended countries. 

At present (information at 14 January 2010) the Patent Cooperation Treaty has 142 member states and Thailand became the 142nd member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty on 24 December 2009   

Thailand implemented the provisions of the Patent Cooperation Treaty through a Ministerial Regulation on Patent Applications.  This regulation was in accordance with the Patent Cooperation Treaty 1979 and Section 17 of the Patent Act 1979. The ministerial regulation set out the principles and application procedures in order for an applicant to file an international patent application in the Patent Cooperation Treaty member state by filing the patent application with the Department of Intellectual Property.     

Benefits of the PCT system

The PCT application system facilitates filing of a patent application in multiple member states of the treaty by using a single application. The application system includes a search of prior art. This is for the applicant to be more aware of the chances of receiving a patent in the relevant member states.

Eligibility of an Applicant filing a PCT application in Thailand

Persons eligible to file a PCT application in Thailand must be a Thai national or a national of a member state of the treaty, or is domiciled in Thailand or domiciled in a member state of the treaty. Such person is eligible to file a PCT patent application at the Department of Intellectual Property or appoint an agent that has been registered with the Director-General of the Department of Intellectual Property. Registration must be in accordance with the Ministerial Regulation (No 21) 1999 and the agent has made a public announcement to the effect of being a registered patent agent in 2009, with the power to proceed patent applications.

Procedural Steps

The PCT application system is comprise of 2 stages:

1) International proceeding: This is the process in which the patent application is inspected by an international search organization, which issues a preliminary report on prior art.

2) National proceeding: This is the process where the departments of intellectual property in the relevant member states determine if the patent application has merit under the law of that particular member state and, such deliberation will be in accordance with local law and regulation of that member state.

Procedural Cost

The application fees under the PCT system are as follows:

  1. International application fees CHF 1,330
  2. International search fees (the fees will varies from state to state dependant on the member state performing the search)
  3. Administrative Fees THB 3,000
  4. Additional costs depend on the member states where the patent application is filed.