Although World Health Organization have begun discussing how and when to call an end to the global Covid-19 crisis, and many countries will declare COVID-19 to be endemic soon, new SARS-CoV-2 variants have been continuously reported. It is therefore the global goals to end the COVID-19 crisis by reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Efficient treatments and vaccines play an important role in these circumstances. Accordingly, Department of Intellectual Property (“DIP”), Ministry of Commerce recently issued the notice of Target Patent Fast-Track program (“Program”) to shorten an examination period for patent applications/petty patent applications related not only to COVID-19 but also any inventions related to medical products, process, composition and/or devices, which contribute to public health. This also aligns with Thailand 4.0, 20-Year Strategy for Thailand to achieve high-income status, by transforming Thailand into a world-class medical destination.
Any applicant who wishes to join the Program must submit a request with explanation of (1) contribution of the invention to benefits of the public health and (2) commercialization potential, for example, production plan, commercialization plan, and/or licensing plan. Under this Program, if the applications have been selected, the DIP will expedite examination process and will issue the final office action within 12 months from the selected date for invention patent applications, and within 6 months for petty patent applications.
As of 27 September 2022, there are two petty patent applications have been selected in this Program. We will follow up with the DIP and provide updates as the situation progresses. Should you need any additional information, please contact us.
Authors: (1) Radeemada Mungkarndee, Ph.D., LL.B. and (2) Tienkul Kangwanwong