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Billion-Baht Copyright Showdown: Unanticipated War Erupts over Thailand’s Beloved Pang Cha Dessert! Get Ready for the Sizzling Scoop!

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Bangkok’s famed Pangcha Thai Tea Café—a renowned spot with four locations spread across the city—has been making headlines recently. It is demanding reparation of a whopping 102 million baht for an alleged copyright infringement of its distinguished name, ‘Pang Cha.’ The target? A local restaurant that shares the same name and even replicates ‘Pang Cha’ in their signature dessert menu, finger-licking Thai tea-flavoured bread.

This saga started unfolding earlier this week when a quaint dessert parlour tucked in the Hat Yai district, located in Thailand’s southern province, Songkhla, received an eerily similar notice. Pangcha Thai Tea Café claimed 700,000 baht as damage compensation because ‘Pang Cha’ prominently featured on the parlour’s glowing signboard.

The peculiarity of this issue has undoubtedly caught the eyes and keyboards of netizens, who quickly took the matter to social media platforms. Public sentiment seems to be sceptical and questions have begun to spring up—how can an everyday dessert’s name be the contentious trademark of a business venture?

Anchor of this tale and owner of Pang Cha Chiang Rai, Weerachart Airakanjanasak, revealed the grievous impact these allegations inflicted on his enterprise. After being forced to replace the signboard at the Chiang Rai shopping mall branch, an unexpected blow was dealt. Evidently, the removal of ‘Pang Cha’ led to a sudden dip in footfall, as regular customers consequently mistook the space for a newly launched outfit.

However, in an attempt to alleviate some tension, The Department of Intellectual Property posted an explanatory note on its Facebook page at the wake of Wednesday’s end. It clarified that the restaurant did not hold exclusive rights over the word ‘Pang Cha’. Nonetheless, it does possess a registered product design patent for the mouth-watering dessert container that carries the ‘Pang Cha’ or ‘ปังชา’ name, as per the rigorous standards of the Trademark Act of 1991. This exceptional product design is explicitly safeguarded, thereby preventing unauthorized usage without direct consent from the patent owner, highlighted the department.

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