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Thailand to seek patent protection for innovators through Singapore

Thailand plans to boost domestic consumption and state investment this year as China's economic problems will have a "considerable" impact on its traditional growth engine of exports, the finance minister said.

THAILAND has become the latest economy to appoint the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) as an international search authority in patent examination, joining four other Asean members - Brunei, Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam.

This means businesses and entrepreneurs from over half of Asean may now seek patent protection internationally through Singapore. Other global economies that have appointed Singapore as an international authority are the United States, Japan and Mexico.

A memorandum of cooperation (MOC) was signed on Tuesday between Thailand and Singapore at the fourth Singapore-Thailand Enhanced Economic Relationship Ministerial Meeting held in Bangkok.

"The newly-signed MOC will allow stakeholders in the region to enjoy expedited patent application for the protection of their innovation," said Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of Thailand's Department of Intellectual Property.

IPOS's appointment as an international authority will allow it to deliver certified services to patent applicants from participating countries.

Applicants will benefit from the ease of application and enjoy cost savings of around S$1,500, or up to 75 per cent in rebates on PCT filing fees. PCT stands for the Patent Cooperation Treaty, an international patent agreement between 148 countries that is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization.