Cambodia’s Intellectual Property

What is new in store for Cambodia’s Intellectual Property?

There are some recent developments in Cambodia as far as the IP of the country is concerned [1]. Out of these developments two of them have been major.

The first amendment came into existence on November 25th2016 [2]. The change was that the Cambodian kingdom Government to the Geneva (1999) Act submitted its instrument of Accession related to the Hague Agreement which is concerned with the global Registration of Industrial Designs [3].The above mentioned Geneva (1999) Act became effective on February 25th 2017 in Cambodia and enables the Hague System users to assign Cambodia in an application of international design.

The second amendment came into existence on January 23rd 2017[4] when Cambodia signed an agreement of validation with the European Patent Organization (EPO) and became the first country in Asia to do so. This change will be effective once it is incorporated and adopted into the law of kingdom of Cambodia, possibly by July 1st 2017. Based on this amendment, the European Patent applicants will be able to submit in future a request for validation in the kingdom of Cambodia, where the European Patent will have the same value and effect as a Cambodian national patent application and will be subjected to national law. The 2 major amendments discussed above will now be discussed in more detail below.

 

  1. Cambodia Following the Hague System

After submitting its instrument of Accession related to The Hague Agreement by the Cambodian kingdom Government to the Geneva (1999) Act, Cambodia is now a part of Hague system. This enables the Hague System users to assign Cambodia in an application of international design. The 1999 Act came into effect in Cambodia on February 25th 2017. Just like the Madrid protocol for trademarks, this system enables the applicants for obtaining multiple registrations on the basis of one single International application filed with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) [5].

There are few other South-East Asian countries other than Cambodia which are a part of the Hague convention which includes inter alia Brunei and Singapore [6]. This move by Cambodian government has and in future will motivate other nations to also become a part of the Hague convention; as such a step is an economy booster for the participant country.

 

  1. Cambodia-EPO Validation Agreement

History was made on January 25th 2017, when the kingdom of Cambodia became the first Asian nation to sign an agreement of validation with the Patent Organization of Europe (EPO). This agreement will be effective possibly from July 1st 2017 as mentioned above and will be a part of Cambodian law. There are 38 European countries (“member states”) which are member of the EPO till date [7]. The EPO was set up for facilitating the members with a single procedure for granting of patents. There are, from 2010, some non-member nations with which the EPO has signed agreements of validation. These non-members are Tunisia, Republic of Moldova, Morocco, and now Cambodia. According to this agreement, once an applicant for a patent with WPO submits a request for validation in each or one of the chosen validation countries, the patent application can be extended to these validation states. In these validation states the European Patent will have the same value and effect as a national patent application and will be subjected to national law. Such a step by the Cambodian government will allow a boost in the businesses.

About the Author :Shilpi Saxena, Patent Associate at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. Can be reached at abhijeet@khuranaandkhurana.com

References

[1] WATANABE. “Trends in Development and Issues Related to IP Systems in Three GMS Countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR and Thailand.” Trends in Development and Issues Related to IP Systems in Three GMS Countries: (n.d.): n. pag. InndsstIintUDteevEolofPImnetnetrAnnadtIisosnuaeslRReelaltaetdiOtonIsPASnysdtEAmrse Ian TShtrueedGieMs,S R Ciotusnutrmiees􀊢ikWanATAUNAnBiEv􀊣ersi9t5, 2011.

[2] “Cambodia Joins the Hague System.” WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization.Wipo, 25 Nov. 2016.

[3] “The Hague Notification No. 131 Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs.” TREATY/HAGUE/131: [Hague Agreement] Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs | Accession by the Kingdom of Cambodia. WIPO, 25 Nov. 2016.

[4] Office, European Patent. “Cambodia First Asian Country to Recognise European Patents on Its Territory.” EPO – Cambodia First Asian Country to Recognise European Patents on Its Territory. EPO, 23 Jan. 2017.

[5]”Hague – The International Design System.” WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization.WIPO, n.d.

[6] “WIPO Singapore Office.” WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization.WIPO, n.d.

[7]”European Patent Convention.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 31 May 2017.

 

 

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