Limitations of Opposition Proceedings under the Thai Patent Law

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Preenapha Siripanit


The purpose of an opposition proceeding according to Section 31 and 32 of the Patent Act B.E. 2522 (A.D. 1979) and Section 32/2 of the Draft Amendment to the Patent Act which is during the legislative process is to allow third parties to participate in the examination procedure of patent applications, and on the other hand, to stabilize patent rights. However, in Thailand, the number of oppositions is rather a small proportion of the number of patent applications. Further, only a small number of oppositions affect decisions to grant a patent. Thus, it could be observed that elements of the opposition proceeding according to Thai patent law might not be appropriate.

With the comparison of the Thai opposition proceeding with the opposition proceedings according to the patent law of Australia, Japan, United States, India, and Singapore, which are countries selected to represent each model of the opposition together with the analysis of decisions of the Director General of the DIP and the Board of Patents, statistic data, and interview data, it is found that the current provisions hinder both parties’ processes and the draft provisions also cause issues that deviate the proceeding from its major purposes. In addition, the law lacks clarity for parties’ and officials’ actions in the proceeding.

Therefore, this article proposes that Thailand amends its patent law, i.e., provisions relating to the opposition proceeding to alleviate limitations that put either party at
a disadvantage and causes difficulties in the proceeding so that the purposes of the proceeding can be achieved. As a consequence, the provisions can help promote innovation and disclosure of such to the public for sustainable development.

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