THAILAND SHOULD further improve its human-resource capabilities in patenting so the commercialisation of intellectual property (IP) assets can be enhanced, IP experts suggested.
The country is ranked 42 in the 2019 US Chamber IP Index among the 50 economies surveyed.
“The biggest setback for Thailand is the lack of patent agents. This means that generally, the quality of patent applications in the country are not satisfactory,” said Orakanoke Phanraksa, senior IP consultant for the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA)’s Technology Management Centre, Technology Licensing Office.
“Furthermore, there often is a mismatch between the knowledge and understanding of licensing between scientists, patent agents and manufacturers,” she told the press last week.
Orakanoke called on the government to earmark a larger budget for the training of patent agents.
The proposed legislation on technology transfer will help advance the commercialisation of IP assets in Thailand. It has been submitted to the State Council for approval after being passed by the Cabinet.
“Currently, government-funded IP assets are jointly owned by relevant government agencies and research parties. Under the proposal, research institutions such as universities can fully own the IP asset, making the commercialisation process much faster,” she explained.
Also, she said, the new government should continue promoting the country’s IP ecosystem.
Ellen Szymanski, executive director of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovative Policy Centre (GIPC), concurred with Orakanoke. “We encourage the incoming government to continue the public sector’s sustained efforts to further develop the IP ecosystem in Thailand. Continued efforts from the government are what foreign investors see as most important when investing in a country's IP assets,” she said.
The GIPC’s 2019 IP Index shows continuous improvement in Thailand’s IP framework, scoring 32.22 per cent in its seventh edition in February from 31.37 per cent in the sixth edition.
The index examines IP policies across eight categories of indicators in order to provide a snapshot of the strength of an economy's legal and regulatory framework on intellectual property.
Of the 50 countries surveyed, Thailand ranks 42 with top-ranked economies in Asia being Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, according to the GIPC official.
“Thailand has performed well in the systemic efficiency category, indicating that government agencies have been cooperating well on IP issues. However, it needs further improvement in the area of IP assets commercialisation,” Szymanski stated.
“Local businesses that embrace strong IP protection are more likely to attract more venture capital, foreign and private sector investments,” she continued.
“In the next three to five years, I see Thailand’s IP framework continuing to improve, given that the public sector continues the reform of IP regulations to improve the ease of doing business.”