Thailand's patent system is often criticised for being too slow especially for chemical and pharma patent examination. The Thai Patent Office this week completed drafting new chemical and drug patent examination guidelines which are expected to be implemented on 30 September 2013.
Various consultation meetings, hosted by the Thai Patent Office, were attended by representatives from relevant Thai public and private sectors, namely scholars, Thai FDA, NGOs, drug manufacturers, patent practitioners and Thai patent examiners.
The former examination guidelines for chemicals and drug patents were said to be insufficiently clear, which played a part in causing delays in examining and granting patents in those fields. Such unclear guidelines were also said to lead to "evergreening" of drug patents - a controversial subject in Thailand.
The new chemical and drug patent examination guidelines, expanded from the main patent examination guidelines last updated in 2012, are aimed to set clearer and generally acceptable standards for examining patent applications filed in these fields and purposefully remove the current backlogs and ease concerns over patent evergreening.