Thai department of intellectual property seeks to safeguard Muay Thai

The Department of Intellectual Property, under the Thai Ministry of Commerce, is making swift strides to protect and promote the nation’s soft power elements, beginning with intellectual property (IP) rights related to Muay Thai and its associated products. This move is a direct response to calls made by Commerce Minister, Phumtham Wechayachai, to curb violation of the nation’s IP rights.

Vuttikrai Leewiraphan, the director-general of the Intellectual Property Department, recently proposed this initiative to the sports subcommittee headed by Pimol Srivikorn, an advisor to the prime minister. The subcommittee operates under the National Soft Power Strategy Committee.

Previously, the department successfully utilised IP rights to generate commercial benefits, particularly in the jet ski sports sector. Thailand possesses the global rights to organise and broadcast the Jet Ski World Grand Prix. The department’s registration of IP rights for the tournament has not only led to an increase in participants and viewers but also significantly contributed to the national revenue.

The department plans to register IP rights for Muay Thai tournaments and related products, drawing from the jet ski model’s success, stated Vuttikrai Leewiraphan. He further added that trademark and patent registrations for associated products, such as the traditional Thai greeting gesture, are also in progress. The primary objective of registering IP rights is to ensure legal protection against unauthorised use and promote adherence to the law.

Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department, added that commercial counsellors in different countries are studying consumer behaviour towards Thai soft power. This information will be utilised to devise marketing strategies that resonate with target demographics and enhance overall efficiency.

He also revealed plans to propose an operational budget for the fiscal year 2025 to amplify the ongoing initiatives. Speaking on the promotion of products that reflect Thai culture and contribute to global appreciation, like movies, series, games, animation, music, cartoons, and characters, Phusit said that efforts are being made to capitalise on these soft power elements.

These initiatives extend to promoting Muay Thai, Thai food, and Thai-style restaurants globally. This not only boosts the export of food and beverages but also promotes the export of Thai-style decorative items and accessories, reported Bangkok Post.

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