In Cambodia, trademarks and related Intellectual Property rights are protected under the Law on Marks, Tradenames and Acts of Unfair Competition dated January 8, 2002. Trademarks (and service marks) are defined as visible signs capable of distinguishing the goods trademark or services of an enterprise. This definition excludes non-visible marks, such as smell, sound, or single color marks. 3D marks can also be registered if they are highly distinctive.

Trademarks are registered with the Department of Intellectual Property under the Ministry of Commerce. Cambodia is a member of the Paris Convention and priority claim can be made within 6 months from the filing date of the first application in another convention country.

A trademark registration becomes effective on the date of issuance. The term of protection is 10 years computed from the filing date and it can be renewed indefinitely for further 10-year periods. In the Sixth year of the initial term, and of each renewal term, the mark owner must submit an Affidavit of Use or Non-Use stating that either the mark is currently in use in Cambodia (with supporting evidence), or that it is not in use because of justifiable reasons but is intended to be used, and there is no intention to abandon the mark. Failure to submit the affidavit will lead to the registration being invalidated by the trademark office.

Cambodia also have a separate law governing the protection of Patents, Utility Model and Industrial Designs which entered into force since January 2003. Applications for patents for inventions/ utility models and registrations of industrial designs can be filed with the Department of Industrial Property under the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (MIME). Cambodia is not yet a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

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Sunday, 4 December 2022

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