In our last few articles we delved into Thailand’s intellectual property system by examining how copyrights and trademarks are protected and enforced. This week we will look at the final pillar of intellectual property rights, patents.
A patent is a licence that confers a bundle of rights for a set time period, which include a right to exclude others from making, using or selling the invention protected by the patent, in exchange for disclosure. We had previously noted that patent is derived from the Latin patere, meaning “to lay open to the public”. Thus the law seeks to provide a set of exclusive rights, for a limited time, in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention. The principle is that by conferring this exclusive right to benefit financially from an invention, it will provide incentives to more inventors. While this is intuitively appealing and has great merit, there are arguments against the granting of patents.
The electric car maker Tesla opened up its patents for public use in June, announcing on their website that: “Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”
This article is older than 60 days, which we reserve for our premium members only.You can subscribe to our premium member subscription, here.