NEWS


Thailand’s Target Patent Fast-Track Program

The Thai Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) introduced a “Target Patent Fast-Track Program” in 2022. It is tailored for patent and petty patent applications associated with creative inventions in the fields of medical sciences, public health and, since the 1st of January 2024, future food.

This program is designed to accelerate the examination process, aiming to be completed within 12 months for patents and 6 months for petty patents from the date the applications are accepted in the program. It has the comprehensive goal of addressing the ongoing public health crisis and aligning with the global emphasis on the importance of consuming healthy and sustainable food.

Conditions for participation in the program

Inventions eligible for participation must comply with the following formal and substantive requirements:

Formal requirements:

  1. It must have been filed as a patent application for which substantive examination has been requested or as a petty patent application which has been pending for more than three months.
  2. It must have been filed with the Thai DIP as a first office (without claiming the priority of a foreign application) or as a PCT application with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) through the Thai Patent Office (PCT Receiving Office: RO/TH).
  3. The application must not have more than 10 claims.
  4. The application must be available on the DIP e-Filing system.

Substantive requirements:

  1. It must relate to:
  • Medical sciences and public health: Technology associated with medical science and public health, encompassing products, processes, materials, equipment, or medical tools intended for public benefit.
  • Future food:

              (1) Novel food: This category relates to the production of food using new processes, where components  may be employed in a new form or through the application of innovative technology in the production, storage, or preservation of food.

              (2) Health supplements: This category includes food designed to offer essential nutritional value, providing benefits in enhancing the body’s immune system, supporting various bodily systems, and delaying the deterioration of various organs.

              (3) Organic food: This category includes organic farming, which prohibits chemical food additives, hormones, and antibiotics. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are excluded from this category.

              (4) Medical food: This category covers products used as substitutes for medicines or nutritional supplements under the supervision of a doctor.

  1. The invention must have the potential for commercial use, and the applicant must have plans for production and distribution, or a license agreement for the invention must be prepared.

Procedure to participate in the program

A request must be filed by the applicant, along with an explanation detailing how their invention meets the conditions for participation in the program, supported by evidence such as a utilization plan.

The request should be filed through e-Filing between the 1st and 10th of each month. Participation in the program is free of charge.

The list of the applications selected is announced on the DIP official website by the 5th of the following month.

Examination process under the program

Throughout the examination process, any office actions will be communicated via the e-filing system. Upon receipt of the office action, the applicant must respond within 30 days. To facilitate the timely filing of the amendment, a video conference will be arranged with the examiner to elucidate the details of the office action, ensuring precise and effective amendments.

Failure to meet the 30-day deadline will result in the applicants being deemed to waive their participation rights in the program, leading to the examination procedure being converted back to the standard examination route.

Written by: Orranat (Bambam) Suvarnasuddhi

Reviewers: Adele Marchal

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