Wax coconuts have received much attention from the government as a strategic product, not only for their delectability, but also for their potential industrial uses, according to a senior commerce official on April 6.

Ministry of Commerce secretary of state Ouk Prachea made the remark while presiding over a key meeting with wax coconut growers and traders as well as other stakeholders, the ministry said in a statement.

Prachea described the initiative to add “Battambang Wax Coconut” – or “Doung Khtis Battambang” – to the growing list of collective trademarks as part of broader efforts championed by Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak, to build up the reputation of potentially marketable products linked to geographical regions and use them to further the Kingdom’s production and export diversification agendas.

“Collective trademarks” are intellectual property (IP) assets based on an underlying ecosystem of businesses, merchants and professionals from the same industry or geographical region that typically pool resources, share information and provide other benefits among members.

Domestic registration of these trademarks is handled by the commerce ministry, which also grants ownership to a managing association. Goods produced or services provided by members are conventionally accompanied by a specific marking to distinguish them from analogues offered by non-members.

Prachea pointed out that collective-trademark registration has historically resulted in many positive results, including local development and economic benefits, tourism boosts and cultural promotion.

However, he said, managing associations must be well-governed and diligently monitor and manage the use of collective trademarks, in line with the accompanying specification books as well as internal rules and guidelines.

At the meeting, participants elected a head, deputy head and members of the executive committee to lead the association behind the “Battambang Wax Coconut”.

Prachea encouraged the newly-elected officers to fulfil their duties as stipulated in their specification book and work to improve the reputation of the “Battambang Wax Coconut”.