SINGAPORE AND CAMBODIA ENTERED INTO AN M.O.U FOR IP COLLABORATION
On January 20, 2015, the Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts of Cambodia (MIH) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), whereby the MIH agreed to recognize patents and industrial designs which have been registered in Singapore, and the IPOS agreed to act as a Search and Examination Authority for patent applications on behalf of the MIH.
As a result, patent owners in Singapore are now able to extend their protection in Cambodia through one of the following two options:
- Re-register their Singapore patents at the MIH; or
- Submit an IPOS-issued Search and Examination (S&E) report to MIH in order to be granted a patent application in Cambodia.
The details of these are explained as follows:
1. As one option, the owner of a Singapore patent can submit a request to the MIH to re-register for a patent in Cambodia at any time during its period of validity. Note that any Singapore patent to be re-registered in Cambodia should meet the following conditions:
- The Singapore patent must be in force at the time of submitting the re-registration request;
- The Singapore patent must have a filing date on or after 22 January 2003; and
- The Singapore patent must meet the Cambodian requirements for patentability.
2. For the second option, the applicant of related patent applications in Singapore and Cambodia can request in writing for the IPOS to submit to the MIH a copy of the final Search and Examination Report, along with the final specification of the Singapore patent application. In addition, the applicant may request for the MIH to amend the specifications of the original Singapore patent application during its submission of the specifications of the patent application for Cambodia.
These two above-mentioned procedures provide useful options for owners of Singapore patents to extend the protection of their IP rights in Cambodia.
As a result of this M.O.U., on 4 March 2015, Cambodia recognized and granted its first Singapore patent protection based on a positive report established by the Search & Examination Unit of IPOS. The recognition of this first Singapore patent took place in Phnom Penh through a formal exchange of the Singapore application form and the Cambodia patent certificate between the Senior Minister of MIH, Mr. Cham Prasidh, and the Chief Executive of IPOS, Mr. Tan Yih San.
Finally, it should be mentioned that this collaboration must be considered as another major step forward for Cambodia and is representative of its progressive integration and development for the protection of IP rights within the international IP system. Note that as of June 5, 2015 Cambodia was accepted into the Madrid Protocol for the international registration of marks, thus providing Cambodias’ brand owners protection for their products via one international application which covers more than 110 countries.
Finally, it should be mentioned that this collaboration must be considered as another major step forward for Cambodia and is representative of its progressive integration and development for the protection of IP rights within the international IP system.