A special executive order was issued by the Thai government on 28th January 2019 directing the Department of Intellectual Property (“DIP”) to invalidate all pending marijuana-related patents applications within 90 days.
This comes less than 3 months after the Thai National Legislative Assembly (“NLA”) approved the “Medical Marijuana” bill to be used for medical and research purposes. However, as the legislation had not been signed by King Maha Vajralongkorn, it is not yet enacted into law.
This U-turn came about after pressure from civil society groups alleging that pending marijuana-related patent applications by established foreign companies may monopolize the market, hamper local businesses and discourage farmers or traditional medicinal practitioners from developing the use of marijuana.
Companies who have pending request/s may file an appeal with the DIP.
By: Puwin Keera
A version of this article was first published in the membership journal of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys – see more at http://www.cipa.org.uk/