Thai social media furious over dessert trademark, restaurant apologizes
21 September 2023
An outrage in social media broke out when Lukkaithong Thai Royal Restaurant, a well-known Bangkok restaurant, uploaded a picture of one of their desserts with the caption “Pang Cha” on Facebook, claiming that the name of the dish had been registered with the Department of Intellectual Property under the Trademark Protection Act.
The restaurant also said that no one had the right to use the “Pang Cha” trademark for its goods or locations or to imitate or change its items because it had been properly registered.
Thai internet users responded to the controversial post in a big way, with many of them questioning if they could still use the words “pang” (which means bread) and “cha” (which means tea) or even if they could still sell bread or offer iced tea.
Lawyer Peerapat Foithong stated in a Facebook post that while the restaurant owner’s interest in IP rights is commendable, he doubted the accuracy of the post about the trademark. He said that “cha” is a common term and cannot be registered since it is not protected under Thai intellectual property rights law, which recognizes three categories of IP.
Foithong stated that while he recognized the possibility that the aforementioned restaurant may have genuinely registered “Pang Cha” as a trademark, they are not permitted to prevent others from using the same name for their goods, including shaved ice tea.
The restaurant has since apologized for the misunderstanding it had caused.
- Excel V. Dyquiangco