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April 30, 2020

Cambodia Eases Affidavit of Use or Non-Use Requirements amid COVID-19 Pandemic

In April 2020, the Cambodian Department of Intellectual Property Rights (DIPR) of the Ministry of Commerce issued new requirements for trademark owners and their agents to file Affidavits of Use or Non-Use due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While an official announcement has not yet been made, the new affidavit filing requirements are already in practice.

Under Cambodian Trademark Law and Regulations, once a trademark is registered, the owner must file an Affidavit of Use or Non-Use between the fifth and sixth years from the date of registration or renewal in order to maintain the registration.

Previously, in order to file an Affidavit of Use or Non-Use, trademark owners had to provide an original signed Affidavit of Use or Non-Use, and the original most recent trademark certificate. Trademark owners who had lost or damaged their original trademark certificates had to obtain a certified duplicate certificate from the DIPR.

The revised requirements for the affidavit filings are a result of the COVID-19 situation and the DIPR’s initiative to improve workflow and promote automation via its online filing system. Under the new requirements, the following documents must be provided:

  • A notarized power of attorney;
  • A copy of the latest trademark certificate; and
  • Evidence of use (if filing an Affidavit of Use).

Because an original signed Affidavit of Use or Non-Use is no longer needed, the domestic trademark agent will declare “use” or “non-use” on behalf of the trademark owner. Trademark owners should note that evidence of use of a registered mark in Cambodia is now always required when filing an Affidavit of Use.

These requirements apply to both domestic registrations and international registrations made under the Madrid Protocol.

At this time, the DIPR has not made clear whether these new requirements will be temporary, or whether they will persist after the COVID-19 outbreak improves. We will continue to provide updates on this developing situation.

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