Thailand Country Report 2016

Presented by

Discovery Reports

Thai law: Somphob empowers clients to protect intellectual property across borders

Firm establishes one-stop Chinese-language services as intellectual-property sector booms across Asia

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 December, 2016, 11:02am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 December, 2016, 11:02am

Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports

Amid globalisation and modern technologies, one challenge that has become more difficult than coming up with a breakthrough idea, product or trade secret is protecting such secrets.

For Asia’s growing innovators and brainpower industries, guarding these intellectual property rights against copycats and infringers spells the difference between success and failure.

“For the first time in 30 to 40 years, cross-border activities – including foreign direct investments – are coming from Asia more than Western countries,” says Somphob Kongwan, partner at Somphob Tax and Law Office (STLO ASIA). “This shift comes as a huge opportunity as well as a daunting challenge for businesses looking to navigate the intricate legal framework in and around the region.”

The Bangkok-headquartered independent firm has been enabling cross-border transactions for 23 years, providing counsel on commercial, international and domestic tax, labour and benefits, immigration services and intellectual property.

Through an established network spanning Asia, Europe and the United States, it delivers legal and consulting services to clients ranging from small domestic companies and investors to one-stop services for Chinese and international firms.

For the first time in 30 to 40 years, cross-border activities – including foreign direct investments – are coming from Asia more than Western countries
Somphob Kongwan, partner, Somphob Tax and Law Office

The development of its Chinese website and trademark registration e-service represents strong intellectual property trends and convergence between information technology and interactive communication.

Among the earliest Thai law offices to work with Chinese firms with nearly 12 years of local presence, Somphob aims to double its work in China every two years. It also plans to add branches in various cities and collaborate with more strategic partners such as consulting firms mirroring Somphob’s open mind, values and strong technical capabilities.

Reinforcing its commitment to the market, Somphob created a dedicated Chinese-staffed team and a Chinese-language website. It also eyes further growth in Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and other key Southeast Asian countries where it expects more innovations and intellectual property legislative reforms to arise.

“A vision of becoming one of Asia’s top three law firms motivates us to grow with our diverse clientele – and pursue the role as the region’s intellectual property rights partner,” Somphob says.


Somphob Tax and Law Office