Cambodia continues to improve its climate for foreign investment. On June 5, 2015, Cambodia implemented the Madrid Protocol. On January 20, 2015, Cambodia’s Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts (MIH) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on the Cooperation in Industrial Property with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). The MOU now makes it possible for holders of Singapore patents and designs to obtain protection in Cambodia under a streamlined re-registration process.
Cambodia’s Law on Patents, Utility Model Certificates, and Industrial Designs dates back to 2003, and hundreds of patent applications have been filed with Cambodia’s MIH in the interim. However, Cambodia has lacked the infrastructure to examine patent applications and the country had not granted a single patent until Cambodia’s MIH entered into the MOU with Singapore’s IPOS.
It is now possible to obtain patent protection in Singapore and re-register a Singapore patent or design in Cambodia using a streamlined process that can be completed in months, not years.
The MOU provides that: (1) IPOS will act as a Search and Examination Authority for patent applications on behalf of the MIH; and (2) the MIH will recognize patents and industrial designs granted at IPOS.
To our knowledge, Cambodia’s MIH has not yet issued any written regulations or guidelines to assist with the re-registration process. Those regulations are currently expected to be issued in early 2016. However, the MIH did issue the first Cambodian patent under the MOU on March 4, 2015—less than two months after signing the MOU. In meetings with the MIH, we have learned that they are ready to accept further applications under the new regime.
Re-registration of a Singapore Patent
In order to re-register a Singapore patent in Cambodia, the Singapore patent must be in force at the time of the Cambodia filing, and the application to re-register must include the following items:
In addition, it is optional but recommended to include a final search and examination report issued by IPOS.
The above documents must be translated to Khmer within six months of the submission date as stipulated in Rule 11 of the Prakas on the Procedures for the Grant of Patents and Utility Model Certificates.
To more effectively facilitate the grant in Cambodia, amendments can be filed to conform to the Cambodia patent specification to correspond to the Singapore patent specification, as granted.
Re-registered Patent Annuity/Maintenance Fees
Re-registered Design Renewal