According to deputy director-general Jittima Srithaporn, the department recently had discussions with the Royal Thai Police, the Department of Special Investigation, the Customs Department, owners of trading areas and intellectual property (IP) owners to set guidelines for the supervision, protection and suppression of IP violations, reports the Bangkok Post.
The inspections will be more stringent, especially in red zones and notorious markets where pirated products are widely available, she said. This includes tourist destinations popular with foreigners such as Patong beach in Phuket, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, Silom Road in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Rong Kluea market in Sa Kaeo near the border with Cambodia.
“After the country’s reopening on June 1 to support tourism, a flood of foreign tourists is anticipated. Sales of pirated products may rebound in tourist areas following the reopening. The department, in cooperation with allies in the public and private sectors, want to intensify measures to prevent and suppress IP violations,” said Ms Jittima.
She said the department and its partners are also committed to moving ahead with measures to prevent infringement of online IP rights.
In January 2021, the department signed a memorandum of understanding on the protection of online IP rights with the Business Development Department, large international online platforms such as Shopee, Lazada and JD Central, and 25 owners of IP rights, both Thai and foreign.
According to Ms Jittima, the cooperation has resulted in the dramatic reduction of sales of products that infringe on IP via the three major online platforms. Rights owners are now allowed to report directly to the operators of the three platforms if IP violations are found, allowing them to take down or remove merchants immediately.
She said the department is going to increase the number of rights owners and add more online platforms as well as Facebook and YouTube, where copyright infringements, especially for music, remain rampant.
In the first five months of 2022, 734 arrests were made, down by 23.1% from 954 in the same period last year, said Ms Jittima. The number of seized articles totalled 438,072 pieces, down by 88.2% compared with the same period last year.