APAA e-Newsletter (Issue No. 33, February 2023)

Rebranding Thai Patent Agent

Radeemada Mungkarndee, PhD and Tienkul Kangwanwong , Lexcel (Thailand)

Recently in late December 2022, for the purpose of public hearing, the Department of Intellectual Property (the “DIP”) posted on its website a draft Notification (the “Notification”) as well as a supplementary explanation proposing a transformation of the Thai patent agent system under the name “Rebranding Patent Agent”. The public hearing already ended on 30 December 2022. The new system according to Rebranding Patent Agent is expected to be enforced in February 2023.

A summary of Rebranding Patent Agent is provided as follows:

  1. Training Courses

Since the objective of Rebranding Patent Agent is to enhance Thai patent agents to an international standard, DIP introduced two different levels of training, i.e., Patent Professional Course (basic) and Patent Agent Course (advanced). Details of the training courses are as follows:

  • The “Patent Professional Course” will focus on basic IP laws (including relevant international IP laws), overall patent practices, overlap of patents with other IP rights, and patent management and commercialization. This course is designed for intellectual property practitioners (e.g., IP and innovation management officers; technology licensing officers; patent agent assistants; and/or business strategists) or any persons interested in this field. There will be no exam, but participants must attend at least 80 percent of the course; and
  • The “Patent Agent Course” will concentrate on patent searching and drafting, in-depth patent filing and prosecution practices, including patent opposition, patent assignment and license. This course is targeted at candidates who wish to register as patent agents. Although the current patent agent registration process is open to any person with a bachelor’s degree in any fields, Rebranding Patent Agent requires more specific qualifications. Candidates for the Patent Agent Course must hold at least a bachelor’s degree, a diploma or certificate equivalent to a bachelor’s degree/diploma in the field of science; technology; engineering; industry; medicine; or public health, or in other fields with at least one year experience related to patents/petty patents. In addition, only candidates who have already passed the Patent Professional Course will be eligible for admission to the Patent Agent Course. To be registered as a patent agent, candidates must pass an exam which includes a patent drafting examination. Only registered patent agents may represent patent applicants before the DIP.


  1. E-Patent Agent System

An E-Patent Agent System is proposed by the Rebranding Patent Agent to apply to all activities relating to patent agents including patent agent registration, recording changes to patent agents’ personal information and renewal of registration. Furthermore, the E-Patent Agent System will also provide a public database indicating expertise, specialized technical field, and experience of each patent agent so that anyone who is interested in obtaining patent protection in Thailand can find the right professional representatives prior to appointing them.


  1. Patent Agent Committee

 The Notification proposes the appointment of a patent agent committee. This committee will have broad authority to, for example, establish ethics rules, set out the regulations and procedure for renewal of patent agent registration, and providing recommendations regarding patent agent training courses to the Director General of the DIP. It will also be able to provide recommendations to the Director General of the DIP for penalties against a breach of ethics. The penalties can be divided into 3 levels depending on the degree of severity of the misconduct and damage caused, which are (1) warning, (2) suspension of practice for at least 1 year, and (3) revocation of patent agent registration for 5 years. It is worth noting that currently there are no professional ethics or penalties for patent agents for misconduct or malpractice.

Rebranding Patent Agent will not directly affect current patent agents who are already registered with the DIP, meaning that they will still maintain their position as registered patent agents. However, the registration term of current patent agents will be valid for another 4 years from the effective date of the Notification, and they will be required to renew the registration every 4 years. The four-year renewal term will also apply to patent agents to be registered under the Notification. The renewal procedure will be subject to the recommendations of the Patent Agent Committee.