What’s the eligibility of hemp and cannabis merchandise in Thailand for commerce mark registration?

Chayaphol Suphachatwong Trade Mark Attorney Bangkok

Earlier this yr, easing of some restrictions round the usage of hemp and cannabis as energetic elements in merchandise together with meals and cosmetics has opened the best way for the business in Thailand. Hemp and cannabis have discovered favour globally as medicinal herbs as a result of presence of two important energetic elements: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Entrepreneurs in Thailand are using off the again off this international cannabis wave and have been together with these energetic elements in a variety of merchandise to drive additional gross sales. We have lately noticed an rising variety of cannabis-related merchandise equivalent to cannabis oils, cannabis cookies, cannabis tea, or cannabis espresso in the native markets.

Subsequently we’ve seen a rise in commerce mark filings for merchandise containing hemp and cannabis by people and firms, each home and worldwide. However, we count on the Trademark Office in Thailand to reject most of those filings as a result of lack of mandatory licence.

To register commerce marks for merchandise containing hemp and cannabis, the Trademark Office would require the candidates to submit proof to show that they acquired authorisation from native authorities to fabricate or distribute such merchandise.

Under the Narcotics Act (No. 7) B.E. 2562 (A.D. 2019), hemp and cannabis merchandise are nonetheless thought of narcotic substances. Producers or producers who intend to supply or use these merchandise should apply for a licence from Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As of October 2021, the FDA solely offers licences to Thai residents or entities. According to the newest bulletins, the FDA is not going to take into account offering such licences to international entities till 2024 on the earliest.

Therefore, for entrepreneurs unable to acquire a licence in the intervening time however trying to safe commerce mark rights, we advise refraining from utilizing any phrases in relation to narcotic substances (equivalent to hemp, cannabis, THC, CBD, and so on.) in the outline of products. These objects are prone to set off an objection throughout examination. We suggest changing such phrases with extra generic phrases equivalent to “herbs”, “herbal remedies”, or “medicinal herbs”.

As hemp and cannabis are handled as herbs underneath the National Thai Traditional Medicine Formulary (2021 Edition) printed by the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand, registering a commerce mark in class 5 for herbs, natural cures, or medicinal herbs ought to present adequate safety to implement the mark in opposition to infringers. In circumstances the place cannabis is an ingredient in a product, equivalent to cannabis cookies or cannabis espresso, model homeowners could merely take away cannabis from the record of products and file for “cookies” or “coffee” as a substitute. This ought to be broad sufficient to guard your items. Once a international model proprietor obtains the required permissions from the FDA, it might refile the mark for extra particular hemp and cannabis merchandise or proceed to depend on broader safety.

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