Major Challenges for the Future
Chapter 4: Patent Rules and Procedures: Thai Law
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THAI PATENT LAW Thailand is a country of about 63 million inhabitants in South East Asia. Unlike neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore, Thailand (formerly Siam) was able to avoid colonial domination, and its law was not created along the lines imposed by direct colonial rule (that is, the rule involving little more than the adoption of legislation from that of a nation’s ruling colonial power). The modernization of the Thai legal system in the early twentieth century resulted from Thailand’s attempt to maintain its sovereignty as opposed to simply bowing to the demands of Western colonial powers. The trade that grew between Siam and Western nations during the nineteenth century led to the signing of a number of bilateral treaties which later became a major factor in the reform of the nation’s law and judicial system. The most important of these treaties was that signed with Great Britain in 1855 (Buddhist Era (be) 2398). The Bowring Treaty marked the beginning of the great changes in Thailand’s social and economic structure. It opened up the market to foreign trade and investment, and linked the country to international markets. Signing the Treaty also forced Thailand to reform its legal system, education, public welfare, monetary policy, and initiate change in many other areas. The protection of intellectual property did not attract any interest in Thailand until the late 1980s. Before that, Thailand had gained a rather tarnished reputation and was widely known as a hub...
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