Thai IP systems score low in annual index
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Thai IP systems score low in annual index

The Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) defended Thailand's IP systems after the release of the 2017 annual International IP Index that puts Thailand close to the bottom of the index.

Based on the US Chamber of Commerce's Global Intellectual Property Centre (GIPC) Roots of Innovation Index, Thailand is ranked 40 out of 45 economies with scores of 9.53 out of 35.

Among the key areas of weakness are inadequate patent protection, very high physical counterfeiting and digital piracy rates, and weak IP rights recognition.

The index is based on 35 indicators in prime categories of IP protection, including patents, copyrights, and enforcement and ratification of international treaties.

DIP chief Thosapone Dansuputra said the country offers standard IP protection in line with the World Trade Organization's Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (Trips) agreement.

He said the GIPC's findings are based on certain indicators which are "superior" to those in the Trips agreement, which explains why the country's scores in certain criteria are low.

He added the assessment involves only the business community in the US without input from all stakeholders.

Mr Thosapone said the report erroneously claims the country lacks laws to handle transit of IP infringed goods through Thailand and transshipment.

According to Mr Thosapone, amendments to the Customs Act and the Exports and Imports Act were passed to authorise customs authorities to take actions if goods in transit are suspected of IP infringements.

He said the legal amendments took effect in late 2015 and the DIP has informed the US Chamber of Commerce and US embassy of the misunderstanding.

However, he noted that the GIPC report has acknowledged the country's development of IP protection laws, enforcement and customs transparency.

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