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Domain Name Protection in Thailand

Ananda Intellectual Property assist clients in Thailand and worldwide to secure, manage and enforce their domain names.

In addition, Ananda Intellectual Property proposes domain name audits such as vulnerability audits, domain name strategies, domain name infringement monitoring services, dispute resolution (UDRP) services, domain name litigation and domain name brokerage services (purchase and sale of domain names and assignment of domain names). Recently Ananda Intellectual Property further developed specific services related to online protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights including protection of trademarks and trade names on social media.

Below are answers to frequently asked questions relating to protection of domain names in Thailand such as how to register domain names in Thailand. For information regarding domain name protection in other countries, please contact us.

Why protecting domain names?

In the globalised internet age, domain names have become the main marketing and business development tool for virtually all types of enterprises. A domain name connects internet users to an enterprise's website. It allows customers and partners alike to learn about an enterprise's products and services.

Quick tips for protecting domain names in Thailand

QUICK TIPS
BENEFITS OF A THAI DOMAIN NAME TIPS FOR DOMAIN NAME PROTECTION
  • A registered Thai domain name can help your business to grow locally.
  • A registered Thai domain name will prevent others from using your company name and/or products/services names as their website name.
  • Check availability of domain name (as .com, .asia etc.) prior to reserving a .co.th.
  • Choose a domain name, which contains your company name and/or your trademark/service mark.
  • Monitor similar domain names and protect your domain name in case of confusion/cybersquatting etc.
  • Make sure to register your name in social networks as well (Facebook ®, Twitter ®, LinkedIn ®, etc.).

How to select a domain name?

Selecting a suitable domain name that correctly communicates an enterprise's identity allows the enterprise to successfully present itself to the online world. As a result, the selection and protection of a business's domain name can have real impact on the business's success - both online and in the real world.

Domain name strategies are strategies considered by businesses when selecting a domain name. In brief, good domain name strategies usually involve: the selection of a name relevant to the business, exploration of how domain name registrations can protect a company and the company's intellectual property, consideration of how to direct online traffic to the site, and consideration of the domain name and site from potential users' perspective.

The selection of a domain name should include considerations of relevant strategies designed to protect the company's rights, public image, and interests. If a company holds certain copyrights, trademarks, or other registered marks of commercial value; the domain name should reflect any such core business identity and intellectual property rights. Additionally, domain name selection should incorporate any domain name or online presence strategy used by the company.

Intellectual property rights owners often forget to check availability and secure domain name registration for their company name(s) and their marks.  This also applies to social network identities such as Facebook ®, Twitter ®, LinkedIn ®, etc which play a growing role in how your company is perceived.

What are the types of domain name available in Thailand?

The country code top-level domain name, or ccTLD, for Thailand is ".th". The ccTLD is popularly used by multinational companies with offices in Thailand and by companies that wish to communicate their presence and commitment to consumers and partners in Thailand.

Different types of second level domains used with the ".th" ccTLD indicate the type of enterprise based in Thailand. The different types of second level domains used with the Thai ccTLD of ".th" include the following:

  • ".co.th" for juristic persons, such as companies and partnerships, registered in Thailand;
  • ".ac.th" for academic institutions in Thailand;
  • ".or.th" for non-profit organisations and foundations in Thailand; and
  • ".in.th" for individuals or organisations in Thailand.

What are the domain names eligible for protection in Thailand?

A domain name is eligible for registration in Thailand if the name is not contrary to public order, not contrary to good morals, and is not otherwise prohibited by law.

How to register domain names in Thailand?

The registration and maintenance of all ".th" TLD domain names in Thailand is done by a company called "THNIC" (www.thnic.co.th).

Focusing on .co.th domain names, there are two ways to register such domain names:

  • by basing the registration on a company's name; or
  • by basing the registration on marks owned by a company.

The requirements and limitations of registering a ".co.th" domain name based on a company name are as follows:

  • The domain name must be the same as the company name or an abbreviation of the company name.
  • A company name can be used to register only one ".co.th" domain name.
  • The company must either be registered in Thailand or have a local representative office in Thailand.

The requirements and limitations of registering a ".co.th" domain name based on a trademark or service mark are as follows:

  • The domain name must be identical to the trademark or service mark (it cannot be abbreviated or extended);
  • A company may register as many trademarks or services marks with as many ".co.th" domain names as it owns trademarks or service marks.
  • The trademark or service mark must be registered in Thailand or abroad.
  • If the trademark was registered in Thailand, the trademark registration issued by the Department of Intellectual Property is required.
  • If the trademark was registered outside of Thailand, the following are required:
    • A certificate of trademark registration (original and an English translation, if the original is not in English);
    • Registration document of the Thai company acting as the representative office;
    • A letter from the non-Thai owner of the trademark stating (a) that the Thai company is a designated representative company and that (b) the Thai company is given permission to use the trademark owner's trademark in their domain name.