The Law on Patents, Utility Models and Industrial Designs, enacted in 2003 as part of Cambodia’s accession to the World Trade Organization, provides inventors with a set of exclusive rights, in exchange for disclosure of their invention to the public. The Law on Patents, Utility Models and Industrial Designs has been amended on the article 37, 38, 109 and 136 on 24 November 2017. The Law is complemented by a Prakas (Declaration) on the Procedure for the Grant of Patents and Utility Model Certificates, dated June 29, 2006.
In Cambodia, patents are registered with the Department of Industrial Property of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (MIH). While several hundred applications have been filed in the years since the enactment of the law, none had been granted. In 2015, the MIH concluded a Memorandum of Understanding on the Co-Operation in Industrial Property with the Intellectual Property of Singapore Office (IPOS), resulting in the first patent being granted in 2015 through cooperation with the IPOS. Similarly, the MIH also signed a Joint Statement of Intent on Cooperation for Facilitating Patent Grant of Cambodia-related Patent Application with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) on May 04, 2016, which allows for a further option for filing through the JPO. In order to implement the Memorandum and the Joint Statement, the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft issued two new Prakas (Declarations) on July 25, 2016 on the procedures for accelerating, registering and granting the patent in Cambodia.
Looking forward, similar agreements were signed with the European Patent Office and the State Intellectual Property Office of China in 2017. On 8 December 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft issued one Prakas (Declaration) on the procedures of validation of European Patent in Cambodia. In addition, the implementing regulation with the State Intellectual Property Office of China will be detailed in our next edition.
Finally, Cambodia became a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, per Instruction of Accession dated August 24, 2016 and deposited with WIPO on the September 8, 2016, which came into force on December 8, 2016.