BANGKOK: The Thai government has reaffirmed copyright protection for traditional elephant and cat-patterned pants, produced in Thailand, Thai news agency (TNA) reported.

The Director-general of Department of Intellectual property, Wutthikrai Leeviraphan said the unique elephant designs on the pants are safeguarded by copyright laws and its commercial reproduction or alteration was prohibited.

He further revealed that preliminary checks found elephant-patterned pants are the embodiment of Thai craftsmanship.

Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, meanwhile confirmed the copyright for elephant-patterned or cat-patterned pants.

He highlighted the need to investigate the extent of the law’s coverage, especially considering potential design differences or distortions in the manufactured designs from China.

The Intellectual Property Department, in collaboration with the Customs Department, will strengthen efforts to investigate suspicious imports at Thailand’s borders, expanding beyond elephant-patterned pants to include other copyrighted designs.

Penalties for copyright infringement range from fines of 20,000 to 200,000 baht, with commercial purposes infringement potentially leading to imprisonment for six months to 4 years or fines ranging from 100,000 to 800,000 baht, or a combination of both.

While elephant print pants have become synonymous with Thailand’s soft power fashion, the market has seen an influx of China-made versions, distributed at a lower cost than their Thai counterparts.

This has raised concerns about copyright infringement, prompting the government to take action. -Bernama

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