Copyright Fair Use in Cambodia

"Fair use" is a crucial part of copyright law, without it the system would crash under the weight of endless infringements. Anytime anyone copied even a small part of any copyrighted work, no matter for what purpose or for what effect, they would be liable for the infringement - if it were not for fair use. Under US law, fair use is a balance of four factors: 1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;…

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Workshop on the Effective Utilization of the Madrid System

On January 20th and 21st, in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and the Japan Patent Office, WIPO organized a workshop for Cambodian trademark agents on using the Madrid System. Approximately 20 agents attended the two-day event at the Sunway Hotel in Phnom Penh. The sessions were lead by an officer from WIPO Legal Division, an officer from JPO Trademark Division, a Japanese attorney from Isshiki & Co, as well as officials from the Cambodian Department of Intellectual Property. They…

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Laos Joins the Madrid System

Laos acceeded to the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks on December 7th, 2015. The 97th member globally, Laos joins Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore as ASEAN members of the system. As a least developed country, applicants from Laos will benefit from a 90% discount on the basic application fee. The Protocol will enter into force on March 7, 2016. More information is available from WIPO.

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Well-Known Marks under Cambodian Law

The concept of “well-known marks” plays a key role in determining the scope of trademark rights, especially when it comes to opposition and cancellation proceedings in Cambodia. A scenario we've seen play over and over is of a well established international brand that has not registered their marks in Cambodia, finding out that another firm has filed for their marks, or ones confusingly similar. Unless it can show bad faith, the brand is left arguing its opposition or cancellation case based…

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Trademark Oppositions & Cancellations in Cambodia

Oppositions and cancellations of trademarks in Cambodia are a big issue, as it's not uncommon for illegitimate applicants to sneak through the Registrar's processes. We've seen quite a few cases over the years, from local distributors registering their suppliers' marks in contravention of their agreement, to outright fraud by trademark squatters looking to extort international brands. But there are things one can do. With a proper trademark watch service, a brand owner should become aware of…

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Kingdom boasts less time to file trademark (Link)

While still relatively small, the number of trademark applications has grown in Cambodia and the country’s low volume means that the Kingdom boasts among the fastest times in Southeast Asia for registering a trademark, a government adviser told a business workshop yesterday. (continue reading on Phnom Penh Post)...

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Raids net apparel knock-offs (Link)

Investigations are continuing after Siem Reap’s economic police conducted four raids last Saturday on shops selling knock-offs of products from US-based outdoor apparel and equipment brand The North Face, police sources said yesterday. (continue reading on Phnom Penh Post...)

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Trademark Search Options in Cambodia

Finding out what's been registered as a trademark in Cambodia is possible through a handful of ways, the following is a quick round-up. Official Search by the Department of Intellectual Property The only way to obtain an official statement of what marks have been registered and pending is to request the DIP to perform a search. Unlike the services listed below, the DIP will report any marks that it considers similar to the one searched for. Anyone, or their licensed trademark agent, may request…

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Improvements to the Trademark Registration System in Cambodia

A number of improvements to trademark registration in Cambodia recently came into effect, making the system easier, cheaper and faster for applicants. On September 25, a representative from WIPO held a meeting with Cambodian trademark agents to explain the changes to the Industrial Property Automation System and Electronic Document Management System. The following changes came into effect on September 28: Multi-Class Applications: A single application for multiple classes may now be filed.…

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Cambodia in Top Spot in International Innovation Ranking

Is Cambodia the most innovative low-income country in the world? One report says so. According the latest edition of the Global Innovation Index, a joint effort of Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Cambodia came first among a selection of 21 low-income economies. Last year Cambodia was ranked just fifth. The index looks at a range of factors to evaluate not just how 'innovative' a country is, but how well it is making use of its resources. The authors…

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New Instruction on Registration of Exclusive Rights

The Royal Government issued on August 6 a new "Instruction on Acknowledgment of Exclusive Right in the Use of Marks." The instruction allows for exclusive importers to record a certificate of exclusive import rights with the Ministry of Commerce. The language states that importers "shall be allowed to record", not that they are required to do so. While the instruction does not specifically state the benefits to an importer of registering their rights, such a certificate should facilitate…

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Patent Filing Fees Increased in Cambodia

The official fees for filing patents in Cambodia, as well as those for utility models and industrial designs, have recently been revised upwards. According to a new declaration on public service fees issued by the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, dated July 8, 2015, the patent filing fee jumps from US$60 to US$80 and for utility model from US$30 to US$40. A few other service fees have also been changed, the full list (in Khmer) is here. Another…

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Anti-Counterfeit Enforcement Ramps-Up in Cambodia

The past week saw a series of major raids on counterfeit products across Cambodia, a positive sign for foreign brands seeking to enforce their IP rights in the Kingdom. The raids, undertaken by the economic police, took place in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, targeting counterfeit apparel, bags, luggage and cosmetics. As reported by the Phnom Penh Post, The North Face instigated a series of raids targeting infringing sellers, including one audacious enough to build an entire fake North Face store.…

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Madrid Protocol Comes into Force in Cambodia

  Today marks the entering into force of the Madrid Protocol in Cambodia, probably the most significant trademark-related event in over a decade. As part of the Madrid system, Cambodian businesses can register trademarks in close to a hundred countries around the world through the local Ministry of Commerce's Department of Intellectual Property. Conversely, foreign brand-owners can register trademarks in Cambodia through their local trademark office. In most cases, this should significantly…

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Cambodia Joins the Madrid System

Cambodia joins the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks today, a system for streamlining the registration of marks across borders. Rather than having to file a trademark application in each country, a brand owner can file a single application with their national or regional IP office, and then select which other countries it wants to register in. This greatly simplifies and reduces the cost of the process, as more than 110 countries are part of the system. The Protocol…

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First Patent in Cambodia Granted

In conjunction with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, the first patent has been granted in Cambodia. Less than two months after establishing a Memorandum of Understanding between IPOS and Cambodia's Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, and more than a 12 years after the introduction of Cambodia's patent law, the first Singapore patent was granted and recognised in Cambodia today. The landmark event was marked by an exchange of the Singaporean application form and the Cambodian…

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Register your Cambodian patent or industrial design through Singapore

Patent and industrial design applicants may soon enjoy protection in Cambodia by filing through the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, and vice versa. According to the terms of a recent Memorandum of Understanding between the IPOS and Cambodia's Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, applicants may gain protection in both countries by filing through either country. Although the Law on Patents, Utility Model Certificates and Industrial Designs was passed in 2002, to date no patent…

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