Thai dessert store apologizes for inflicting on-line uproar over patenting ‘Pang Cha’

BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia Information Community): A misunderstanding a few standard Thai-style dessert store registering its title and emblem has sparked an uproar on social media.

Thai social media was abuzz when the Lukkaithong Thai Royal Restaurant introduced on its Fb web page on Monday that it had patented and reserved the copyright for the phrases “Pang Cha” in each Thai and English.

The announcement used a photograph of the favored Thai shaved ice or ‘Bingsu’ dessert with chunks of bread soaked in Thai tea, garnished with cream and mint leaves as an example.

Many Fb customers reacted angrily, asking why the Mental Property Division allowed the patenting of a standard Thai dessert and the way different dessert retailers may serve the same dish with out getting in hassle.

The outcry finally led the division, the shop and an mental property regulation knowledgeable to clarify that the announcement had been misunderstood.

They stated the misunderstanding stemmed from the truth that the trademark contained two generally used Thai phrases: “pang” for bread and “cha” for tea.

The knowledgeable, Dr Peerapat “Pete” Foithong, stated he believes “Pang Cha” might have been registered as a trademark, however that does not imply folks cannot serve related desserts.

He additionally believes copyright has been registered for the pictures used for the bottled tea bought by the store, and that the best way the dessert is organized could also be patented.

Subsequently, says Peerapat, different retailers can promote this Thai-style Bingsu with bread and tea as elements with none authorized issues.

On Tuesday, Pang Cha World Class Thai Tea’s Fb web page introduced that the store needed to apologize for the misunderstanding brought about.

In a heated debate, many Fb customers stated that widespread phrases and customary dishes can’t be patented.

The division defined {that a} trademark is used to specify items or companies which can be completely different from others.

Beneath the 1991 Trademark Act, letters, numbers, work, images, illustrations, colours and symbols could also be used to register new emblems. Phrases transformed into phrases, sentences, slogans or titles will also be registered as emblems.

Peerapat stated that the phrase “cha” alone can’t be registered as a trademark, however the retailer used a mix of “Pang Cha” to register. Nonetheless, he stated that the trademark proprietor ought to lose the fitting to ban using “bang” and “cha” as widespread phrases.

“For instance, one other vendor might promote their dessert as ‘Pang Bingsu Cha Thai Yen’ [Bingsu with bread and iced Thai tea]’ Peerapat defined.

The division stated the patent had been registered on the shop covers:

• Particular font used for the phrases “Pang Cha”

• The phrase “Pang Cha” written in a particular type

• The picture of a sitting/kneeling lady, printed on the tea bottles of the store

• Image of a girl in a kimono, a conventional Thai costume and a conventional Indian sari

• Thai characters or numbers designed with vegetation

• The way in which the dessert is organized in a bowl.

Peerapat defined that Thai regulation doesn’t enable prescription registration, including that the easiest way to guard a recipe is to maintain it a secret.

“If folks come to a restaurant and memorize the style of a dish after which attempt to copy it, it’s not unlawful. If a restaurant desires to guard its recipes, it should hold them secret,” he stated.

He added that the Mental Property Division wouldn’t enable widespread phrases or phrases to be registered as emblems.

“For instance, the phrases ‘rao khai khanom pang’ [we sell bread]or ‘bang aroi’ [delicious bread] or ‘ping’ [toasted bread] can’t be registered as a trademark,” added Peerapat.

In 2021, there was a high-profile authorized battle over emblems between a well known Thai tea store Sua Phon Fai (tiger roaring within the fireplace) and its new rival, Mee Phon Fai (bear roaring within the fireplace).

The Mental Property Court docket dominated in favor of Sua Phon Fai, who had registered his title as a trademark in each Thai and English.

The courtroom dominated that Mee Phon Fai had imitated Sua Phon Fai’s trademark by altering only one phrase. It additionally accused the brand new retailer of promoting the identical type of bubble tea because the previous retailer, creating the general public’s misunderstanding that the 2 shops might have been owned by the identical particular person.

The courtroom ordered the brand new retailer to cease utilizing the title and pictures and to pay 10 million baht in damages to the previous retailer.