Committee rejects IP offences on public interest grounds
The Law Drafting Committee of the Council of State has concluded that proposed IP rights offences should be removed from the draft bill to amend the Anti-Money Laundering Act (BE 2542, AD 1999).
The draft bill was approved in principle by the Cabinet earlier this year (see IP crimes may be included in anti-money laundering legislation). However, the IP rights offences were controversial - among other provisions, they stated that if an IP rights violator is unable to prove the legitimate source of his/her assets, he/she may be required to forfeit such assets.
The draft bill was sent to the Council of State for further consideration and comments prior to being put before Parliament. The Law Drafting Committee stated that the offences should be removed as IP rights infringement derives from a conflict between private parties. This is, in its opinion, incompatible with the main objective of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, which is to protect the public from serious crimes such as drug abuse, fraud and prostitution.
If the Cabinet agrees with the recommendation, IP rights holders' hope of being able to use the act to enforce their rights will be extinguished.
Nont Horayangura and Say Sujintaya, Baker & McKenzie, Bangkok
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