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5 September 2017

THAILAND: Sound Mark Now Practically Registrable

A sound has been theoretically recognized as a mark since the amendment to the Trademarks Act in 2016. In practice, however, it has just become possible to apply a sound mark for registration since September 1, 2017, the effective date of the relevant Ministerial Regulations.

According to the amended Act, a sound mark is inherently distinctive if (i) it is not directly descriptive, (ii) it is not a natural sound of the relevant goods, and (iii) it is not a sound produced by a function of the goods.The amendment also allows proving acquired distinctiveness for sound marks found not inherently distinctive. According to the Trademark Office, sound marks which are considered non-distinctive are, for example, the sound of toilet flushing for sanitary ware and a cows moo for dairy products.

In filing a sound mark, the applicant must provide a clear description as well as a clear audio record of the sound. In addition, the applicant is required to indicate in the application form whether the sound mark is a human sound, an animal sound, a musical sound or another type of sound. The applicant may also submit a musical notation, sonograph or other graphical representations in order to demonstrate the sound.

In view of the above possibility, if you are interested in filing applications for sound marks, please do not hesitate to contact us.