An increase in the number of patent examiners at the Thai Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) shines a light of hope on reducing the current backlog of patent applications there, although practitioners say that the speed of examination still needs to be improved – particularly with regard to pharmaceutical and computer-related inventions. The imbalance between examination time and patent term creates major hurdles for small and medium-sized enterprises looking to obtain granted patents for commercialisation.
- Baker McKenzie
- Domnern Somgiat & Boonma Law Office Ltd
- Tilleke & Gibbins
- Chavalit & Associates (IP&IT) Ltd
- Rouse & Co International Thailand Ltd
- S&I International Bangkok Office
- Satyapon & Partners Ltd
- ZICO Law
- Ananda Intellectual Property
- Dej-Udom & Associates
- LawPlus Ltd
- Spruson & Ferguson
Ananda Intellectual Property
Barely a decade old, Ananda Intellectual Property is fast emerging as a serious contender on the litigation scene. In 2018 the firm successfully resolved the country’s largest patent litigation and most recently I&V Bio enlisted its help mid-dispute to defend allegations of infringement concerning three patents lodged by INVE Aquaculture. IP litigation head Nuttakorn Sorakun played an instrumental role in orchestrating this triumphant defence; he is well versed in corporate, labour, immigration and commercial law. Managing partner Franck Fougere has been practising intellectual property in Thailand for almost 20 years. He is a source of innovative legal solutions.
Baker McKenzie’s Bangkok bureau is synonymous with quality work products and superb client service. As such, its patent workload has increased substantially, necessitating the recruitment of additional patent consultants. With a law degree, a biotechnology PhD and close to five years’ experience as PTT Global Chemical Public Company’s in-house IP manager – not to mention more than 10 years’ private practice experience working at two IP firms ranked in this chapter – Radeemada Mungkarndee is one of the most qualified portfolio managers in the country. She is responsible for the Thai patent portfolios of top multinational automotive, mechanical and Big Pharma companies. Say Sujintaya chairs Baker McKenzie’s Thai IP practice and regional IP group with verve. She is a thought leader whose crystal-clear advice – informed by her awareness and synthesis of the latest global business and IP trends – is a client magnet.
Chavalit & Associates (IP&IT) Ltd
SCL Group became SCL Nishimura in October 2019 after Japanese Big Four law firm Nishimura & Asahi agreed to acquire the Thai outfit, with Chavalit & Associates continuing as the group’s IP, IT and telecoms legal service provider. Chavalit Uttasart and Kallayarat Chinsrivongkul are the key contacts – Uttasart is managing partner and Chinsrivongkul an authority on international patent law, whose advice is sought out by illustrious organisations.
Dej-Udom & Associates
Dej-Udom & Associates is a popular choice for invention patent and design patent work among Thai, Asian and global clients alike. A major part of its appeal lies in its level of internationalisation. Not only does the team include Chinese attorneys, some of its staff received training at the Japan Patent Office (JPO). To that effect, Poondej Krairit serves as secretariat general and secretary of the JPO Intellectual Property Promotion Association of Thailand. The IP department head holds a PhD in computers and engineering management and is an authority on electrical engineering, telecoms engineering and IT briefs.
Domnern Somgiat & Boonma Law Office Ltd
Domnern Somgiat & Boonma Law Office is widely considered to be a top three IP practice in Thailand. In fact, it is responsible for roughly one-half of all patent applications filed by foreign parties in the country. The six-partner firm operates a team of eight patent attorneys whose technical expertise is topped up by 46 outside technical experts. Life sciences maven Prabjote Busdee has a whopping 40 years’ experience in private practice. Rutorn Nopakun and Chakrapat Mongkolsit are the side’s key litigators; both are dual-qualified as patent attorneys and attorneys at law with a US education.
LawPlus operates a bustling patent practice chiefly focused on processing Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications in Thailand and Myanmar. Its outfit has been on an upward trajectory, not least thanks to the detail-oriented nature of its modus operandi, but also managing director Kowit Somwaiya’s ever-expansive engagement with the international IP community. The INTA board member has held numerous influential positions in both Thai and international industry associations.
Rouse & Co International Thailand Ltd
With decades of on-the-ground experience in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other Asian countries, Rouse is a true one-stop shop in Asia. The Bangkok bureau is a key cog in this well-oiled machine, with Manoon Changchumni at the helm – he is a force to be reckoned with in contentious settings. Fabrice Mattei is Changchumni’s counterpart in neighbouring Myanmar, who handled many a landmark litigation before the Thai Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court (IP&IT Court) and the Supreme Court.
S&I International Bangkok Office
With roots tracing back to 1996, S&I International Bangkok Office was founded by a former JPO patent examiner and patent appeal board examiner; as such, it has amassed a sizeable following of Japanese clients. Yingluck Krairiksh is a name to note. Dual-qualified as a patent agent and attorney at law, she operates seamlessly across the contentious/non-contentious divide.
Satyapon & Partners Ltd
Satyapon & Partners is a well-established patent practice with excellent technical flair and sectoral knowledge, not to mention a star-studded line-up of advisers. Managing partner Satyapon Sachdecha is highly revered in Thailand, having chaired the Intellectual Property Association of Thailand for 10 years. Former director of the patent office Verasak Maiwatana dedicated 35 years of his professional life to the DIP, having served as a patent examiner, director of IP management division and head of the PCT receiving office.
Spruson & Ferguson
Australian and Asian IP behemoth Spruson & Ferguson’s Thai office serves the patent needs of several big-name international electronics and information and communications technology (ICT) companies, including conducting original patent drafting and applications. Philip Lyren is the engineering and ICT group’s senior counsel in Bangkok. A US patent attorney with over nine years’ experience in-house at Hewlett-Packard, he previously worked at Hong Kong’s Eagle IP focusing on US and Chinese patent prosecution.
Tilleke & Gibbins
Sitting comfortably at the apex of the Thailand rankings and with the largest number of ranked individuals in this chapter, Tilleke & Gibbins is a force to be reckoned with in the ASEAN region. Alan Adcock and Darani Vachanavuttivong provide inspiring leadership to the Thai IP practice. Domestic and foreign clients admire Adcock’s silky negotiation skills, which are vital to sealing patent transactions, while Vachanavuttivong has ramped up exceptional expertise and experience enforcing IP rights in the Mekong Delta jurisdictions. Newly ranked Sukontip Jitmongkolthong is another staunch enforcer of IP rights; splitting her time between Thailand and Laos, she has a stellar track record bringing about out-of-court settlements for patent infringement matters. Crack litigators Nandana Indananda and Suebsiri Taweepon are unstoppable when it comes to obtaining record-breaking compensation before the IP&IT Court. Having previously secured Bt68.85 million ($2.11 million) in compensation for Honda in a design patent infringement suit, most recently they procured Bt106 million ($3.5 million) in favour of INVE Technologies against an infringer in Thailand. Finally, Somboon Earterasarun is a percipient adviser on IP protection in both Thailand and Indonesia.
Maintaining a stable team in Thailand, ZICO Law is making inroads augmenting its IP presence in Laos and Myanmar. As the only IP firm with offices in every ASEAN country, its regional capabilities are a potent client draw; Hanergy Holding Group Limited, PTT Global Chemical Public Company and ZTE Corporation are among its most high-profile clients. Nuttaphol Arammuang helms the practice with poise. He is a key litigator and transactional adviser for the group, while Titirat Wattanachewanopakorn is an enforcement sage who makes light work of anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting assignments.
- Alan Adcock - Tilleke & Gibbins
- Nuttaphol Arammuang - ZICO Law
- Prabjote Busdee - Domnern Somgiat & Boonma Law Office Ltd
- Manoon Changchumni - Rouse & Co International Thailand Ltd
- Kallayarat Chinsrivongkul - Chavalit & Associates (IP&IT) Ltd
- Somboon Earterasarun - Tilleke & Gibbins
- Franck Fougere - Ananda Intellectual Property
- Nandana Indananda - Tilleke & Gibbins
- Sukontip Jitmongkolthong - Tilleke & Gibbins
- Yingluck Krairiksh - S&I International Bangkok Office
- Poondej Krairit - Dej-Udom & Associates
- Philip Lyren - Spruson & Ferguson
- Verasak Maiwatana - Satyapon & Partners Ltd
- Fabrice Mattei - Rouse & Co International Thailand Ltd
- Chakrapat Mongkolsit - Domnern Somgiat & Boonma Law Office Ltd
- Radeemada Mungkarndee - Baker McKenzie
- Rutorn Nopakun - Domnern Somgiat & Boonma Law Office Ltd
- Satyapon Sachdecha - Satyapon & Partners Ltd
- Kowit Somwaiya - LawPlus Ltd
- Nuttakorn Sorakun - Ananda Intellectual Property
- Say Sujintaya - Baker McKenzie
- Suebsiri Taweepon - Tilleke & Gibbins
- Chavalit Uttasart - Chavalit & Associates (IP&IT) Ltd
- Darani Vachanavuttivong - Tilleke & Gibbins
- Titirat Wattanachewanopakorn - ZICO Law