Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thailand trademarks - new rules on refilling & re-use

Refilling of genuine containers by third parties is a perennial problem for the lubricants, printer cartridge, food & beverages and gas industries.

Thailand's new Trademark amendment act passed by Parliament in August adds a new provision for the offence of “refilling”. This provision allows trade mark owners the right to bring a criminal case against third parties who use packaging or containers bearing the trade mark owner's registered mark, with the third party's own goods or anothers’ goods, in order to make the buyer believe that such goods belong to the trade mark owner.
The offender will be liable for criminal sanctions i.e. fines and/or imprisonment. The key element appears to be the effort to make the goods appear as genuine.
There have been several well publicised instances of refilled soy sauces and fish sauces, popular Thai cooking sauces. So apart from the IP issue, the Thai authorities pushed for this provision because they are concerned about potential health threats to consumers.



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