People and places

In-depth Features

Thailand has climbed one spot to 28th on the Institute for Management Devel-opment’s 2021 world competitiveness rankings, three spots behind ASEAN neighbor Malaysia and nine spots ahead of Indonesia in the global rankings. Switzerland-based IMD attributed Thailand’s gains to improvements in la-bour market indicators, a low government deficit and recently enacted pro-busi-ness legislation; the organization also noted Thailand’s gains in scientific infra-structure, including an increase in scientific  academic research publications, confidence express by Thai business managers on the collaboration between ac-ademia and the private sector and increased protection of intellectual property rights.


Thailand’s improved showing on the global stage will likely lead to an in-creased interest in the country’s intellectual property regime and practice, which will provide more opportunities for new law firms to work their way into the market. Already, new firms like The Legal and iLAWASIA, and regional firms like Schmitt & Orlov and Rajah & Tann, are making inroads into what used to be a comfortable handful of law firms for others to compete against.


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Based in Bangkok with a liaison office in Hong Kong, Ananda Intellectu-al Property is a well-recognized patent and trademark firm managed by Thai, American and European partners. Managing partner Franck Fougere has over 15 years of experience as managing director and IP expertise at international firms throughout Asia.


Anek Group is held in high regard throughout Southeast Asia for its IP work; the firm also provides advice on corporate and commercial law, labour law, conveyancing services, debt collection and dispute resolution. Anek Srisan-it, the firm’s chair, is a key contact for IP matters. Managing partner Nan Srisanit is an IP specialist.


Apisith & Alliance has changed its name to AWP & Alliance since Janu-ary 1, 2021. The firm is an independent commercial one whose IP practice has been recognized for its expertise. It has built up an extensive network of foreign associate firms and correspondent firms. The firm offers a wide range of IP ser-vices in the areas of prosecution, due diligence, enforcement and investigation. Clients include Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Samsung, Black Canyon and Patum Vegetable Oil.


The Supply & Distribution practice at AXIS Legal drafts and negotiates supply and distribution agreements, as well as assists with exclusivity arrange-ments and credit and financing. Working in concert with other practice group, the firm offers advice on ensuring compliance with competition and fair-trade laws, and can help settle any dispute which arises.


Partner Say Sujintaya, Dhiraphol Suwanprateep, Nont Horayangura and Tanakrit Tangburanakij consistently make Baker McKenzie one of the top IP law firms in the region; the regional practicde was named Asia IP’s Trademark Firm of the Year for Asia Pacific in 2020. The firm manages the patent and trademark portfolios of some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical, software and consumer goods companies. It also regularly advises on patent and trademark prosecution matters as well as licensing and is heavily involved in all manners of enforcement, including the coordination of anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy campaigns, as well as IP-related litigation.


Chandler MHM, which was established in 2017 when Chandler & Thong-ek Law Offices integrated its practice with Tokyo-based Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, has notable practices in data protection and TMT. After the firm advised the Export-Import Bank of Thailand on its data protection project, the ExIm Bank won the 2020 Best Practice Award from the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society. Partner Pranat Laohapairoj is a key data protection contact. The firm’s TMT practice advises across a broad spectrum of tech-related areas, including cyber security, e-commerce, e-sports, FinTech and health tech. Koonlacha Charungkit-anant is a key TMT contact.


Chavalit & Associates, the IP and IT arm of SCL Nishimura & Asahi, is led by managing partner Chavalit Uttasart. Founding partner of SCL Law Group, Phatthrawat Nakaranuruck is another key contact as he was once senior legal officer with the Department of Intellectual Property in the Ministry of Commerce; he has had extensive experience in IP and IT litigation as well as arbitration on several high-profile matters. Another prominent figure is partner Pavinee Bunyamissara who specializes in the fields of e-commerce and trademarks.


Dej-Udom & Associates was founded in 1986 by Dej-Udom Krairit. The IP team, led by senior partner Poondej Krairit and executive director Worawut Krairit, offers a full range of services. Its client base includes well-known global companies.


One of the oldest and largest IP firms in the country, Domnern Somgiat & Boonma is led by partner Rutorn Nopakun. The practice handles many trademark applications filed in Thailand and almost half of the patent applications filed by foreign companies. Among its leading practitioners are Nathapong Tongkaew for trademark, Chakrapat Mongkolsit and Prabjote Busdee for patent, and Juthatip Vejsureeyakul for copyright. Together, they were named the Asia IP patent firm of the uear for Thailand in 2020.


Up-and-coming iLAWASIA is a newgen, full-service law firm experienced in dealing with trademarks, trade names, industrial designs, inventions, copyright, geographical indications, trade secrets and domain names. The firm’s services include due diligence, prosecution, customs recordal, enforcement and litigation for both domestic and overseas clients. Founder and managing partner Somphob Rodboon is engaging, thorough and creative in his search for solutions, whether the problem lies in IP, corporate and commercial or other aspects of business law. The firm has branch offices in Vientiane, Phnom Penh and Yangon. Founded in 1966, ILCT is Russin & Vecchi’s office in Bangkok. The IP practice offers services such as registration, copyright protection, contesting infringement and counterfeit issues. Partner Palawi Bunnag is a key IP contact.


Kudun and Partners is a commercially-focused full-service firm in Bangkok. Partner Somboon Sangrungjang is well-respected in the IP realm. He has advised one of the country’s largest telecommunications companies in connection with the rights to broadcast a major sporting event to its viewers under the Must Carry rules specified by the Office of National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission; he also represented one of the largest telephone voice and data communications services provider in successfully defending it against one of Thailand’s leading cable satellite TV providers from copyright violation claims related to the English Premier League.


LawPlus provides pragmatic legal advice at a reasonable cost and its clients include multinational financial institutions, regional and international telecommunications companies, hardware and software manufacturers, property developers and service providers. Managing partner Kowit Somwaiya and partner Prasantaya Bantadtan have nearly 50 years’ experience combined, and have acted for clients such as Aeon, Alstom, ExxonMobil and General Motors.


Lewmanomont International Law Office was established in 1966 by Sanguan Lewmanomont. The firm offers IP services across Southeast Asia. Clients include global companies such as Shell Oil, Pennzoil and E-Trade, as well as smalland medium-sized Thai enterprises such as Osotspa, Thai Agri Foods and Thai Fish Sauce Co.


Mirandah Asia’s Bangkok office is staffed by several IP experts, and works closely with its Singapore office, where director Gladys Mirandah brings more than 35 years of IP experience in Asia. She has been admitted to practice in Singapore, the UK and Brunei. The firm is noted for its work in ASEAN countries and elsewhere, and has offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Hanoi and Manila, as well as significant experience in Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei and India.


R&T Asia (Thailand), the Bangkok office of Rajah & Tann, advises on a variety of TMT fields including the new and emerging fields of data security, e-commerce, FinTech and Over-The-Top (OTT) services. It has increasingly provided advice on e-payments businesses, giving it a wealth of expertise in that area. Partner Supawat Srirungruang is a key TMT contact.


Rouse has had an office in Bangkok since 2000. The office handles all IP aspects and, in particular, acts as the patent hub for Southeast Asia. It has a strong track record in patent drafting, prosecution and litigation, as well as trademark and other IP protection and enforcement. Principal Prasit Siricheepchaiyan is a key contact; the firm also has a Japanese desk dedicated to assist Japanese clients in the region.


S&I International Bangkok Office is a Japanese law firm established in 1996 by Masafumi Iguchi. The firm specializes in IP and comprises S&I Asia Co. (Bangkok), which handles translation and search work, and S&I Japan Co. (Tokyo), which supports clients in Japan. Services including applications for patents, petty patents, designs, trademarks, copyright, litigation and general counseling for both Thai and foreign companies.


Named the Asia IP trademark firm of the year for Thailand in 2020, Satyapon & Partners was founded by Satyapon Sachdecha in 1995 and practices IP law exclusively. Sachdecha is a skilled lawyer who was president of the Intellectual Property Association of Thailand from 2009 to 2019 and is a lecturer of IP law at both Dhurakij Pundit University and Thammasat University. Other key members are Kritchawat Chainapasak who is the head of the patent & design practice and Kritsana Mingtongkhum who is the head of the trademark and litigation practice.


Siam Premier International Law Office has been providing advice to companies and individuals for more than 20 years. The firm’s litigation department handles IP enforcement and disputes, including recently representing a Chinese vehicle manufacturing company in a lawsuit filed by a British global automotive company on the grounds of trademark infringement and licensing agreement. The firm also has an important TMT practice, which is home to its IP rights work. The firm has advised a Japanese mobile application company in regards to telecommunications and internet laws in Thailand, and a U.S. multinational sports apparel and footwear company in connection with a legal terms project to develop a globally consistent Terms of Use, Terms of Sale and Privacy Policy on its website, and other regulatory and compliance advice.


Schmitt & Orlov deals with the full range of IP matters in Thailand, from registration and commercialization to the enforcement of IP rights, with a strong focus on trademarks and copyright. The firm works closely with the Thai enforcement authorities including the Department of Intellectual Property, Economic Police and Thai Customs at all levels, and has an in-house investigation team that identifies sightings, conducting indepth investigations and monitoring online counterfeits. Daniel Greif, the firm’s director for Southeast Asia, has consistently been rated as one of the leading trademark lawyers in the Asia Pacific region; he is aided by the deputy director Hau Nguyen.


Spruson & Ferguson provides patent and trademark attorney services, as well as all other intellectual property services, in Thailand and the Mekong region (Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia). Jitchanok Sararuk, Pradipol Kruakaew and Thanchanok Pankrai are responsible for patent work and Terapat Laopatarakasem handles trademarks. Spruson & Ferguson is part of IPH Limited, the intellectual property company holding company in Asia and the Pacific.


Named copyright firm of the year for Thailand at the 2020 Asia IP Awards, The Legal is a boutique law firm in Bangkok founded by experienced lawyers from several renowned law firms in Thailand. The firm provides legal services to clients from individuals to juristic entities and local to multinational companies, as well as government authorities. The full-service firm’s IP practice is helmed by Panisa Suwanmatajarn, who is also the firm’s managing partner. She has a dozen years of experience in intellectual property, corporate and commercial and information technology fields. She was senior associate at Siam Premier International Law Office and a partner at RWT International Law Office. She has been involved with inbound and outbound trademark prosecutions, intellectual property infringement, contracts related to intellectual property such as licensing agreements, franchise agreements, and outsourcing agreements. Jinnaphat Srithepthamrong is another key contact.


Tilleke & Gibbins’ IP team in Bangkok consists of key practitioners such as Darani Vachanavuttivong, Alan Adcock, Nandana Indananda, Sukontip Jitmongkolthong, Suebsiri Taweepon, Wiramrudee Mokkhavesa and Somboon Earterasarun. The prosecution practice handles patent and trademark searches, registration, recordal, annuity, opposition, cancellation, watches, infringement assessment, freedom to operate analyses, validity assessments and license agreements. For contentious work, the firm handles investigations, training, market surveys, anti-counterfeiting campaigns, preventive strategies, civil and criminal actions, raids, alternative dispute resolution, public relations, lobbying and enforcement liaison work.


Established in 1999, Vidon & Partners handles exclusively IP works covering registration (patent, trademark, design, copyright and geographical indications), enforcement as well as anti-counterfeiting, strategic advices, contract and litigation. The firm also collaborates with several international law firms and specialized IP investigators in Thailand.


Founded in 2020, WE Intellectual Property is a Bangkok-based law firm dedicated to IP protection. With over 20 years’ relevant experience, managing partner Saowaluck Lamlert and partner Tatchaporn Natprasertkul help trademarks, trade names, industrial designs, patents and inventions, copyright, geographical indications, trade secrets and domain names, on due diligence, prosecution/registration, customs recordal, enforcement and litigation.


In January 2021, the trade remedies and customs practice at AWP & Alliance (formerly Apisith & Alliance) was acquired by Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners, a full-service firm regarded by many as a powerhouse.


ZICO Law (Thailand)’s lawyers are acclaimed leaders in their field and are known for having pioneered creative workarounds for its clients’ trademark and patent needs. The firm offers a full spectrum of legal and consultancy services in the protection, commercial exploitation, enforcement and litigation of all types of IP. Managing partner Nuttaphol Arammuang and executive partner Titirat Wattanachewanopakorn are among the firm’s key practitioners.

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