Compulsory Licences: Law and Practice in Thailand

  • Jakkrit Kuanpoth
Part of the MPI Studies on Intellectual Property and Competition Law book series (MSIP, volume 22)


When the WTO/TRIPS Agreement entered into force in 1995, around 100 countries had adopted compulsory licensing under national intellectual property law. The compulsory licensing measure can be effective in dealing with situations inhibiting access to medicines, for example when a patent holder fails to use the patent in the granting country or when he or she maintains artificially high prices for patented articles. Despite the significant international development, it remains to be seen how the flexibility margins provided by the TRIPS provisions can be used as safeguards to protect public health interests of the poor countries. Effective mechanisms are also required to support countries that are unable to make effective use of compulsory licensing due to the inefficiency of manufacturing capacity. This chapter examines the problem of using the legal mechanism of compulsory licensing by developing countries. It looks at Thailand’s experiences with the use of compulsory licensing to increase access to medicines. Since the majority of compulsory licences issued around the world are related to pharmaceutical patents, the chapter highlights the use of compulsory licensing in the context of a range of public health responses. It first discusses the use by Thailand of the compulsory government use licensing to increase access to medicines. It also examines international rules on compulsory licensing, including the provisions of the Paris Convention, the TRIPS Agreement, and the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. Finally, the chapter discusses various legal issues under the Thai Patent Act regarding the compulsory licensing provisions. It also highlights the possible impact, in a broad sense, of the use of legal mechanisms such as compulsory licensing, which aims to effectively maintain fair market competition and dilute the monopoly power of the patent holder.


Supra Note Essential Medicine Compulsory License Trips Agreement Patent Holder 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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