IP Awards

The King of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, is the first recipient of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Global Leaders Award, in recognition of his remarkable contribution to intellectual property both as an inventor and as an active proponent of intellectual property as a tool for development. The WIPO Global Leaders Award is the Organization’s most prestigious recognition of outstanding contributions by world leaders to the cause of intellectual property to promote development.

The King is the holder of three Thai patents. The first was awarded for his ingenious contraption for oxygenating polluted water - a major health hazard within Thailand. He invented the Chaipattana Low Speed Surface Aerator. Loosely based on a traditional luk or water-wheel, the device won King Bhumibol the ‘Best Inventor’ award at the prestigious Brussels Eureka show in 2000. According to an official website, the King, concerned about his subjects’ lackadaisical attitude to intellectual property registration, decided to patent the aerator to provide them with a positive example.

The King’s second patent is for a cost-saving fuel based on a combination of regular diesel and palm oil. Unlike ethanol based alternatives, the fluid can be used in trucks and other machines without their engines requiring modification. The monarch’s formula was expected to save the country hundreds of millions of Baht per annum. The third patent is the fruit of the King’s most grandiose project to date: cracking the age-old puzzle of how to control the weather. His ‘supersandwich’ rain-making technique relies on aircraft simultaneously ‘seeding’ clouds at different altitudes/ temperatures with chemicals known to trigger precipitation. King Buhmibol’s technique is believed to direct rain to specific targets more efficiently than any previous rain-generating method.

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