The process of registering intellectual property rights is very easy with the institution of a new data based system for registering trademarks. Cambodia’s IP laws set out the requirements for registration of marks and patents and these requirements comply with international standards. Cambodia is expected to sign onto the Madrid Protocol in early 2015, which allows for the international registration of marks. Currently, all marks must be registered in Cambodia even if they have been registered internationally.
- How do I register and protect my trademark, patents, utility model certificates, industrial designs and copyrights in Cambodia?
In Cambodia, there are three different ministries in charge of protection of trademarks, patents, utility model certificates, industrial designs, and copyrights. All procedures are clearly set out within the relevant laws. Because Cambodia requires that an agent be registered in the country, a Power of Attorney is required for a local agent to act for a foreign investor in registering. All filings require fees and these are set by the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Economy and Finance and are published.
Trademarks are registered with the Intellectual Property Department of the Ministry of Commerce. As in other countries, one must provide specimens of the marks, proof of authorization from the owner of the mark, proof of any international registrations, and a completed application. The Ministry of Commerce complies with the international class system of marks and a mark may be registered in multiple classes.
Patents, utility model certificates, and industrial designs are registered with the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy. The procedures and requirements for registration are in conformity with those of other countries as well as with the relevant international instruments and standards.
Copyrights are registered with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, however there is only protection for Cambodians, including Cambodian legal entities.
- Can an international registered trademark be recognized in Cambodia? If not, what can be done to get an international trademark recognized and protected in Cambodia?
Cambodia does not recognize international trademark registrations, so a trademark must be registered in Cambodia for protection within the country.
- What are the benefits of the registration? How long does the protection last? What is required to renew a registration?
A registered trademark is protected for ten (10) years, renewable. The registered owner must file an “affidavit of use or non-use of the trademark” within the fifth anniversary of the date of registration. If the affidavit isn’t filed, the trademark can be removed from the Register.
- Can a trademark be assigned? What is the procedure?
A trademark can be assigned by submitting an application that must be signed by the assignor and assignee (together with the applicable fee).
- How effective are the measures that might be taken against infringements?
The Dispute Resolution Unit of the Intellectual Property Department of the Ministry of Commerce handles infringement complaints if the trademark owner requests. The Unit has proven effective to date. A court action would be a last resort.