As part of its annual Trademark Survey, Asia IP interviewed Nearirath Sreng, an advisor in Tilleke & Gibbins’ Phnom Penh office, for her views on Cambodia’s trademark system. Her comments appeared in the survey’s editorial on Cambodia.
Although Cambodia joined the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks in March 2015, the legal framework in place for the renewal of trademarks still needs to change, according to Nearirath. “The grace period for trademark renewal has been cancelled in Cambodia,” Nearirath said. “However, the registrar has kept non-renewal mark registration to be used against the registration of a confusingly similar mark, which is not time limited,” she continued. “This kind of practice should be changed to create fair procedures for all trademark applicants.”
Commenting on Cambodia’s outlook, Nearirath said that one difficulty lies in the fact that submission of a non-use declaration of a trademark registration can prevent a cancellation action against the registration of such a mark. “This system would be beneficial for trademark owners who do not have a plan to use a mark registered in Cambodia,” she said. “However, this system would be problematic to a trademark owner who cannot obtain a mark similar to an unused mark and who wishes to cancel such a registered mark based on the non-use ground.”
Asia IP is a Hong Kong-based magazine that focuses on the latest developments in IP law. In the Trademark Survey 2015, Tilleke & Gibbins secured “Tier 1” rankings in Thailand and Vietnam for both “Trademark Prosecution” and “Trademark Contentious” work and “Recommended Firm” rankings in Laos and Myanmar. If you would like to read Nearirath’s comments in full or learn more about the rankings, please visit the Asia IP website.