Thailand maintains “Watch List” status, commended for improvements in IP system

By Saowanee Leewijitsin

The United States praised Thailand for continuing to strengthen the country’s intellectual property system and suppress IP violations, as they announced that Thailand would remain on the 2022 “Watch List”, pursuant to Section 182 of the US Trade Act of 1974.

On 27 April 2022, the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced its annual IP protection and enforcement status of key trading partners, also known as the Special 301 Report.

The US government applauded Thailand’s action in developing and nurturing IP rights in various areas such as working seriously with various agencies in advocating for the new patent law, troubleshooting software piracy within the government sector, organizing various forms of IP awareness campaigns, and recently pushing to amend the copyright law which, among other things, would allow Thailand to accede to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty. Nevertheless, some concerns, especially online and broadcast piracy, still persist.

Thailand’s Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) Director-General, Wuttikrai Leeveeraphan, reaffirmed Thailand’s commitment to ensuring effective and adequate protection of IP rights in the country, saying that “the DIP would like to thank the government and private sectors for actively working together and we are confident that this cooperation will push Thailand out of the Watch List successfully. The DIP will seriously contribute to create a strong intellectual property system to facilitate the emergence of new innovation and technologies, and to create a trade and investment climate in the country as well as build confidence for foreign investors to invest and operate more businesses in Thailand.”

For this year’s list, there are seven (7) countries that are in Priority Watch List and twenty (20) Countries listed in Watch List as shown below.

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