Effective as of January 3, 2023, Thailand’s Department of Intellectual Property (the “DIP”) issued a Notification regarding the First Notification of the Trademark Examination Result in the Case of Necessity for Urgent Use of the Trademarks of 2023 (the “Notification”). This Notification establishes a formal procedure for expedited examination under which an applicant shall receive an examination result within 4 months from the filing date. This fast-track examination has proved to be practically possible as the Trademark Office has so far accepted approximately 10 applications for examination under this procedure (as of February 2023).
To be eligible for this procedure, the application shall meet the following requirements:
Upon receipt of the above, the examiner shall inform the applicant in 15 days whether the application is eligible under this Notification or not. If eligible, the examiner will then notify the applicant of the examination result (which shall be subject to cancellation under certain circumstances) within 4 months.
However, as there is no further explanation from the Trademark Office on the requirements regarding proof of urgency (4) and search results (5), the examiner will use his/her own discretion in assessing such evidence on a case-by-case basis. For goods and services in (3), since the Trademark Office’s guideline are regularly updated, some acceptable terms may be removed at a later stage after the application is filed. As a result, the application may become ineligible.
Another option with more flexible requirements is filing through the fast-track examination procedure pursuant to the Notification on the First Notification of the Trademark Examination Result in Case of Urgency of 2021. This Notification allows designating as many as 50 items of goods/services with no limitation to only one class, but such items must be those listed in the Trademark Office’s guideline. Additionally, under this procedure, the applicant is not required to submit a request form or evidence of urgency or to take any additional action. If found eligible during preliminary review, the application will be automatically accepted for this procedure and the result will be known within 6 months.
It should be noted that if the application does not comply with the requirements under either of the above Notifications, the application will be examined as per normal procedures. In addition, these Notifications are not applicable to applications under the Madrid system.
Since the normal, not expedited, examination procedures can be time consuming (10-12 months), the applicant may consider either of the above fast-track procedures, especially in cases where the list of goods and services is not too extensive or complicated.