Firms overseas are ripping off Thai brands: IP watchdog


BANGKOK

The Nation (Thailand)/Asia News Network

Famous Thai energy drink and chili paste brands are being pirated in Asia, hitting local manufacturers, Thailand’s Intellectual Property Department says. The Red Bull brand has been copied in China, creating a loss of 1 million yuan (US$150,418) from total sales of 1 billion yuan (US$150.4 million). Meanwhile, Mae Pranom chili paste has been pirated in Malaysia. Director-general Pajchima Tanasanti said manufacturers had complained to the department about violated intellectual property rights (IPR) and lost income because of the infringements. The department has submitted information to IPR enforcement agencies in China and Malaysia to investigate the cases. “Thai trademarks have been registered in other countries for products developed in their own markets, and foreign manufacturers have copied Thai products and registered them under the same trademarks, damaging Thai manufacturers’ businesses,” she said. To prevent violations, Pajchima urged Thai enterprises to register IPR overseas. She said many Thai brands were at high risk of being pirated, particularly rice brands because of Thai rice’s reputation for high quality. Some businesses had falsely claimed their product was from Thailand and used Thai language on the packaging, misleading consumers and damaging the reputation of genuine Thai rice. The department will set up a special unit to monitor Thai products, services and innovations and protect them from IPR violations overseas, she said.