The 4th Industrial Revolution Requires Strong Intellectual Property Laws: Where does Thailand Stand?


  • Nucharee Nuchkoom SMITH Walailak UniversitySchool of Political Science and Law, Walailak University, Nakhon Si Thammarat 80160, Thailand



TRIPS agreement, Intellectual property rights, WIPO, Thailand legislation


Strong and fair intellectual property rights legislation is an essential foundation for the 4th industrial revolution. It is required to protect the increasingly rapid advances in all areas of technology and science as well as the pursuits of human endeavor. At the same time, countries must be allowed to adopt measures necessary to protect public health and nutrition and the public interest in sectors of vital importance to the socio-economic and technological development. Thailand is covered with the intellectual property treaties under both the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization. This paper describes the protections afforded under Thailand’s intellectual property laws. The analysis shows that the coverage of the Thai legislation is extensive and fairly robust-protecting the intellectual property rights of Thailand as well as those of the wider world community. However, there are some shortcomings. Copyright protections still do not fully protect performer’s rights. It has been argued also that the protection of the rights of breeders of new plant varieties should be enhanced and fashion designs specifically protected. Copyright violations are by far the major infringement of intellectual property right laws. This requires a rigorous and consistent enforcement regime. It must be acknowledged that the enforcement has improved over the last few years. This has been recognized by the United States Trade representatives who, in December 2017, moved Thailand from the priority Watchlist to its Watchlist because the country is able to resolve issues in and engage on intellectual property issues with the United States.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Nucharee Nuchkoom SMITH, Walailak UniversitySchool of Political Science and Law, Walailak University, Nakhon Si Thammarat 80160, Thailand

Lecturer, Department of Law, Walailak University

PhD in international trade law from Western Sydney University


R Harvey. The ‘fourth industrial revolution’: Potential and risks for Africa, Available at:, accessed July 2019.

MH Lee, JJ Yun, A Pyka, DK Won, F Kodama, G Schiuma, HS Park, J Jeon, KB Park, KH Jung, Min-Ren Yan, SY Lee and X Zhao. How to respond to the fourth industrial revolution, or the second information technology revolution? Dynamic new combinations between technology, market, and society through open innovation. J. Open Innov. Tech. Mark. Complex. 2018; 4, 21.

RB Smith. How can least developed member countries of ASEAN benefit from the 4th industrial revolution? Walailak J. Sci. & Tech. 2020; 18 (in press).

C Jones and P Pimdee. Innovative ideas: Thailand 4.0 and the fourth industrial revolution. Asian Int. J. Soc. Sci. 2017; 17, 4-32.

P Teanravisitsagool. Thailand 4.0: The Fourth Industrial revolution strategy from the national perspective. Special Session on the Fourth Industrial Revolution in ASEAN 14 January 2019, Bangkok, Available at:, accessed July 2019.

J Kuanpoth. The Department of Intellectual Property's IP Roadmap for Thailand. Tilleke & Gibbins International, Bangkok, 2016.

Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (as amended to 28th September 1979), WIPO Database of Intellectual Property Legislative Texts.

Paris Act 1971 adopted 24 July 1971 (entered into force 10 October 1974). [under Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works].

World Intellectual Property Organization. Members: Thailand, Available at:, accessed February 2019.

Agreement on Establishing the World Trade Organization signed 15 April 1994 (entered into force 1 January 1995).

Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), signed 15 April 1994 (entered into force 1 January 1995).

N Indananda, S Taweepon and A Wheatley. Copyright litigation in Thailand: Overview, Available at: (sc.Default)&firstPage=true&bhcp=1, accessed August 2019.

Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. March 20, 1883, as revised at Brussels on December 14, 1900, at Washington on June 2, 1911.

Stockholm Act 1967. Adopted 14 July 1967 (entered into force 26 April 1970). [under Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property].

Patent Cooperation Treaty. Signed 19 June 1970 amended 28 September 1979, modified 3 February 1984 and 3 October 2001 (as in force from 1 April 2002).

Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (as amended 28 September 1979). Adopted 28 September 1979 (entered into force 1 June 1984).

Copyright Act B.E. 2537 (1994) (Thailand).

NN Smith. Thailand, free trade and its copyright obligations. Int. J. Bus. Econ. Law 2014; 5, 42-6.

Berne Union. Tunis Model Law on Copyright, Unesco, WIPO, Paris, Geneva, 1976, 165-86.

Copyright Act (No. 2) B.E. 2558 (2015) (Thailand).

Copyright Act (No. 3) B.E. 2558 (2015) (Thailand).

Trademark Act B.E. 2534 (1991) (consolidated as of 2000) (Thailand).

Trademark Act (No. 3) B.E. 2559 (2016) (Thailand).

Protection of Geographical Indications Act B.E. 2546 (2003) (Thailand).

Optical Disc Production Act B.E. 2548 (2005) (Thailand).

Madrid Protocol, relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (as amended on 12 November 2007).

D Vachanavuttivong. Trademark act amendments usher in Thailand’s accession to the madrid protocol. Lexology (online 3 June 2016), Available at detail.aspx?g=4abccb52-77f5-41d7-8fa5-19a48dc7f694, accessed August 2019.

Patent Act B.E. 2522 (1979) (Thailand).

Patent Act (No 2) B.E. 2535 (1992) (Thailand).

Patent Act (No 3) B.E. 2542 (1999) (Thailand).

Plant Varieties Protection Act B.E. 2542 (1999) (Thailand).

Protection of Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits Act B.E. 2543 (2000) (Thailand).

Protection and Promotion of Traditional Thai Medicinal Intelligence Act, B.E. 2542 (Thailand).

Trade Secrets Act B.E. 2545 (2002) (Thailand).

Trade Secrets Act (No. 2) B.E. 2558 (2015) (Thailand).

V Ariyanuntaka. Intellectual property and international trade court: A new dimension for IP rights enforcement in Thailand, Available at:, accessed August 2019.

WIPO Copyright Treaty, signed 20 December 1996 (entered in to force 6 March 2002).

N Supasiripongchai. The protection of performer’s rights under the copyright law in Thailand: The proposed reform in the light of the prospective free trade agreements with the United States and European Union. Intel. Prop. Rights. 2014; 2, 1000127.

World Trade Organization. 2015, Trade policy review, report by the secretariat: Thailand. WTO Doc WT/TPR/S/376, Thailand.

WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. signed 20 December 1996 (entered in to force 20 May 2002)

N Saardchom. Risk of intellectual property among fashion designs. J. Legal Ethic. Regul. 2017; 20, 1-10.

P Lertdhamtewe. The protection of geographical indications in Thailand. J. World. Intellect. Property 2014; 17, 61-128.

Notification of the Ministry of Public Health [Thailand] Criteria, methods and conditions on tobacco product and cigarette packaging B.E. 2561 (2018). Government Gazette Book 135 Special Section 319 D, 18 December 2018, Available at:, accessed August 2019.

M Setiati and A Darmawan. Intellectual property rights in ASEAN: Developments and callenges- case sudies in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Policy Ideas 49; 2018, 1-27.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. WTO disputes-tobacco plain packaging, Available at:, accessed August 2019.

World Trade Organization. DS441: Australia-certain measures concerning trademarks, geographical indications and other plain packaging requirements applicable to tobacco products and packaging, Available at:, accessed August 2019.

J Kuanpoth. Intellectual property and transparency in trade negotiations: The experience of Thailand J. Intellect. Prop. Rig. 2015; 20, 112-21.

International convention for the protection of new varieties of plants. In: Proceeding of the Diplomatic Conference for the Revision of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, Geneva, 1991.

P Lertdhamtewe. Developing country sui generis options: Thailand’s sui generis system of plant variety protection. Briefing Paper No 3: Food, biological diversity and intellectual property, Quaker United Nations Office, 2014.

P Lertdhamtewe. Reinventing Thailand’s plant protection regime. J. Intellect. Prop. Rig. 2015; 20 320-9.

DF Robinson. Legal geographies of intellectual property, ‘traditional’ knowledge and biodiversity: Experiencing conventions, laws, customary law, and karma in Thailand. Geogr. Res. 2013; 51, 375-86.

I Barpujari and NN Weeks. IPRs as impediments to technology transfer-findings from select Asian countries. J. Intellect. Prop. Rig. 2013; 18, 399-409.

MW Parker. Dying to spite the graveyard: Thailand and the necessity of creating a culture-based IP enforcement paradigm. Asian. Pac. Law Pol. J. 2016; 18, 93-113.

DF Robinson and D McDuie-Ra. (En)countering counterfeits in Bangkok: The urban spatial interlegalities of intellectual property law, enforcement and tolerance. Geogr. J. 2018; 184, 41-52.

W Schwaub. The global competitiveness report 2018. World Economic Forum, Geneva, 2018.

K Schwaub. The global competitiveness report 2015-2016: Full data edition. World Economic Forum, Geneva, 2015.

United States Trade Representative. 2018 Special 301 Report, April 2018. Executive Office of the President of the United States, Office of the United States Trade Representative. Washington D.C.

Trade and Investment Agreement between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Thailand, signed 23 October 2002.




How to Cite

SMITH, N. N. . (2020). The 4th Industrial Revolution Requires Strong Intellectual Property Laws: Where does Thailand Stand?. Walailak Journal of Science and Technology (WJST), 17(12), 1294–1306.