The Importance of Submission of Affidavit of Use/Non-Use in Cambodia
Under the current practice, there is a requirement to submit an affidavit of use/non-use against a registered mark within one year following the 5th year of registration. The next submission is required to submit within one year following the 5th year of each renewal which is counted from the renewal acceptance date stamped on the renewal certificate.
Unlike the United States or other countries, use of a mark is not a requirement for renewal of a trademark registration in Cambodia. The registrant can file an affidavit of non-use stating their intention to use the mark in future. The wordings in the affidavit form is designed to prevent the possibility of non-use cancellation to be filed by other party. This will also help the registrant to secure the old registration date of their mark.
A trademark registration in Cambodia will not be lapsed automatically if no submission of an affidavit of use/non-use is filed within the prescribed period. The registrant can still submit the affidavit at the time of renewal unless the renewal application will be rejected by the Department of Intellectual Property Rights of Cambodia. Nevertheless, the late submission will be applied.
Nevertheless, if submission of affidavit of use/non-use is not filed within the deadline, the registration will become vulnerable for cancellation either from any third party or by the Department of Intellectual Property Rights of Cambodia. This is supported by Article 21(4) of the Sub-decree on Implementation of the Law Concerning Marks, Trade Names and Acts of Unfair Competition and also Article 5 of WIPO Information Notice No. 11/2016 following Cambodia’s accession to the Madrid Protocol. Although it is quite rare to see that the Department of Intellectual Property Rights of Cambodia to remove any registration by virtue of Article 21(4), we encourage the registrant to strictly comply with the rules and regulations to avoid any risk of cancellation of their mark on this ground.
Under the current practice, there is a requirement to submit an affidavit of use/non-use against a registered mark within one year following the 5th year of registration.