Thailand could challenge the trademark of a Malaysian beef dish that shares the same traits and English name as "Suea Rong Hai", a famous northern Thai delicacy, even after the former was registered in Malaysia, according to the the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP).
Noor Kartini, a Malaysian business owner, recently filed an application to trademark the name of the dish, "Harimau Menangis", or crying tiger in English, with the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO).
A screenshot of her application went viral on social media as Thai and Malaysian netizens expressed anger over Ms Noor's decision. Some of them said the trademark would prevent others from selling the dish.
DIP director-general Vuttikrai Leewiraphan yesterday told the Bangkok Post the department had contacted MyIPO to ask about the matter.
The department learned from MyIPO that Malaysian company Noor Khan Enterprise applied to trademark "Harimau Menangis" on Nov 24.
Mr Vuttikrai said MyIPO is inspecting the company's application, so the registration of the trademark is not yet completed.
He said the name "Harimau Menangis" might not qualify for trademark because it is not distinct enough. Customers may also find it hard to differentiate products sold under the name, he said.
He said the protection of the trademark would take effect only in Malaysia.