In early 2017 the Department of Intellectual Property unveiled its much-anticipated IP roadmap, which outlines how the government intends to develop a robust legal framework for the establishment and protection of IP rights over the next two decades. It was enthusiastically received by the IP community at home as well as by global multinationals and foreign governments; in late 2018 the United States responded by moving Thailand from the Special 301 Priority Watch List to the Watch List. These are exciting times for patent practitioners in Thailand; how effectively the IP roadmap’s ambitious aims are realised will be closely monitored at home and abroad.
- Baker McKenzie
- Domnern Somgiat & Boonma Law Office Ltd
- Tilleke & Gibbins
- Chavalit & Associates Ltd
- Rouse & Co International Thailand Ltd
- S&I International Bangkok Office
- Satyapon & Partners Ltd
- Ananda Intellectual Property
- LawPlus Ltd
- Spruson & Ferguson
- ZICO IP
Ananda Intellectual Property
Both Thai and international actors flock to Ananda Intellectual Property, hoping to take advantage of its “excellent patent prosecution team” and talent for litigation and transactional matters. The firm recently welcomed two new patent attorneys and has been “shoring up its offering” for some years. The recent hire of new patent boss Benjapol Kongsombut was a watershed moment; armed with a background in chemical engineering, he has moved quickly, taking the reins in disputes on behalf of a major Japanese manufacturer. Alongside Kongsombut in this clash – and credited with driving the practice’s rapid growth – Franck Fougere is an astute IP strategist in both contentious and non-contentious settings. Continuing to lead the firm he founded in 2011, he also provides invaluable IP counsel to the French and Swiss governments and to the European Union.
Drawing on its global web of offices, Baker McKenzie delivers comprehensive patent services for its loyal following. This year the technically gifted prosecution team doubled in size to six – a response to the addition of the Thai National Science and Technology Development Agency to its glittering client roster. Among the new hires, Radeemada Mungkarndee will play a key role in managing the significantly increased volume of instructions. Possessing both a law degree and a PhD in biotechnology, and with time spent in-house on her résumé, Mungkarndee is a skilled operator across the contentious/non-contentious divide. She has acted as an expert witness before Thailand’s Intellectual Property and International Trade Court. Offering valuable input on legislative and regulatory processes, Bangkok-based Baker McKenzie IP regional chair Say Sujintaya is an IP polymath. Providing both broad oversight and leadership on the frontline in litigation and portfolio management, she is revered among her peers for her “profound IP knowledge”.
Chavalit & Associates Ltd
SCL Law Group’s IP subsidiary Chavalit & Associates is a one-stop patent shop. The prosecution set boasts excellent capabilities across the biotech, chemistry and electronics arenas and is adept at securing rights protection for both international and Thai buyers. Kallayarat Chinsrivonkul’s talent for this work is undisputable, as firm co-founder and patent group leader she has been a trusted adviser and IP guardian for over two decades. When required, a squad of skilled lawyers are on hand to resolve disputes and assist in closing IP-heavy deals. Having struck a number of high-stakes commercial bargains across Thailand and Myanmar, managing partner Chavalit Uttasart is a go-to for challenging, time-sensitive transactional briefs.
Domnern Somgiat & Boonma Law Office Ltd
“One of Thailand’s most prolific filers”, Domnern has a “laser focus on patent work” and offers a comprehensive service that earns it a formidable reputation on the country’s IP scene; its eight patent attorneys are responsible for filing half of all incoming patent applications in the country. Traditional yet flexible in its approach, the team has been instilled with renewed vigour in recent years by “a new generation of talent”. A standout star in the side’s line-up, Prabjote Busdee is a font of wisdom for medical devices and life sciences operations. Dual-qualified as patent attorneys and attorneys at law, Rutorn Nopakun and Chakrapat Mongkolsit bring decades of experience to the “sterling litigation team”. They are smooth courtroom operators and their arguments routinely impress judges.
LawPlus’s four-strong team punches well above its weight to offer a stellar prosecution service for its engineering-focused following. The firm’s Bangkok and Myanmar bureaux have recently seen a spike in filings from Chinese clients, which value its detail-oriented service. A well-known figure in the trademark world, managing partner and vice president of the Intellectual Property Association of Thailand Kowit Somwaiya is also a highly skilled patent agent; he channels 30 years’ worth of commercial and IP know-how towards securing rock-solid protection.
Rouse & Co International Thailand Ltd
Pan-Asian IP consultancy Rouse “has built a bustling patent practice in Thailand”. Its professionals combine a “strong background in patent matters and a proactive approach”, effortlessly overcoming obstacles to rights protection in the fields of biotech, chemistry and mechanical engineering. Overseeing the Thailand and Myanmar offices, Fabrice Mattei is a contentious ace and has established the outfit’s profile on the international stage. Manoon Changchumni earns a spot in this year’s IAM Patent 1000 for his dependable advice and holistic approach, developed over nearly two decades in the IP game.
S&I International Bangkok Office
“Held in high esteem, top-flight prosecution outfit S&I has built up a substantial patent practice.” The firm’s founder is a former patent office examiner at the Japan Patent Office, which means that the group espouses his ideals on the Thai stage and has become a crucial ally for Japanese corporations. A carefully curated network of associates across six Asian countries is major magnet for rights holders in the region. Attorney at law Yingluck Krairiksh is a stalwart champion for these players, who put their unequivocal trust in her abilities in the courtroom, at the patent office and the negotiating table.
Satyapon & Partners Ltd
Long-serving IP all-rounder Satyapon & Partners executes English, Thai and Japanese filing instructions with consummate ease; the prolific filer also acts as a single point of contact for portfolio management across Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Assisted by a former director of Thailand’s Patent Office, Satayapon’s patent attorneys are well-versed across an array of technical disciplines. Being also sought after for its enforcement faculties, the firm boasts three in-house investigators who routinely mount crusades against infringers. Managing partner Satyapon Sachdecha is a widely revered figure; who currently holds the vice presidency of the Thai chapter of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property.
Spruson & Ferguson
One of the newest outposts in a sprawling Asia-Pacific network, Spruson & Ferguson’s Bangkok office draws on the group’s ample resources – as well as a band of outside translators and technical experts – to deliver a compelling patent offering. Prosecution of national phase applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty remains the group’s bread and butter, although it makes a remarkable impression in litigation and transactional instructions, particularly where pharmaceutical and biotech rights are at issue. Daniel Greif assuredly manages the Thai office and takes charge in the courtroom when tensions arise. Day-to-day operations of the patent department are the purview of Saowaluck Lamlert; newly inducted into the IAM Patent 1000 this year, she is the preferred counsel for a number of industry heavyweights.
Tilleke & Gibbins
IP powerhouse Tilleke & Gibbins boasts a “potent” contentious offering and “counsels one side or the other in every major Thai patent litigation”. A recent landmark ruling from the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court awarded the group’s automotive client Bt18 million ($520,000) in damages, the largest amount received in a design patent infringement suit. Responsible for securing the sum through his innovative approach was former IP court judge, Nandana Indananda. A veritable IP scholar who has studied at prestigious institutions across the globe, he is a frequent writer and speaker on patent matters. An expert in enforcement, Srila Thongklang rejoins the ensemble, offering his integral consultancy skills. The addition of three patent attorneys has cemented the set’s “virtually unsurpassed” position at the apex of patent prosecution, adding further technical clout to an already rock-solid outfit. Multinational companies increasingly turn to Tilleke to manage patent portfolios, which span the whole of the Southeast Asian region. Managing director Darani Vachanavuttivong is an accomplished prosecutor across the Indo-Chinese peninsula, as is Somboon Earterasarun who returns to Bangkok following a stint in the Jakarta office. Newly elected president of the Licensing Executives Society Thailand, IP group deputy director Alan Adcock is a transactional savant and Mandarin speaker.
Pan-Association of Southeast Asian Nations player ZICO has “channelled significant investment into its Thai outpost in Bangkok”, resulting in “untrammelled expansion”. The office has been providing a nuts and bolts service across the spectrum of patent matters for three years now, over which time a diverse clientele has come to count on the firm’s steadfast rights protection abilities and the knack its “young and hungry practitioners” have for enforcement work. Former Tilleke & Gibbins man Titirat Wattanachewanopakorn is a great first port of call for buyers seeking more information.
Other recommended expertsAt the helm of Dej-Udom & Associates’ IP department, Poondej Krairit is a superb patent prosecutor. He applies his computer technology background towards drafting crucial patents for industry leaders.
- Alan Adcock - Tilleke & Gibbins
- Prabjote Busdee - Domnern Somgiat & Boonma Law Office Ltd
- Manoon Changchumni - Rouse & Co International Thailand Ltd
- Kallayarat Chinsrivonkul - Chavalit & Associates Ltd
- Somboon Earterasarun - Tilleke & Gibbins
- Franck Fougere - Ananda Intellectual Property
- Daniel Q Greif - Spruson & Ferguson
- Nandana Indananda - Tilleke & Gibbins
- Benjapol Kongsombut - Ananda Intellectual Property
- Yingluck Krairiksh - S&I International Bangkok Office
- Poondej Krairit - Dej-Udom & Associates
- Saowaluck Lamlert - Spruson & Ferguson
- 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
- Say Sujintaya - Baker McKenzie
- Srila Thongklang - Tilleke & Gibbins
- Chavalit Uttasart - Chavalit & Associates Ltd
- Darani Vachanavuttivong - Tilleke & Gibbins