Today marks the entering into force of a new cooperation program between the Japan Patent Office and the Ministry of Industry & Handicraft in examining and granting Cambodian patent applications.

The basic concept of the program is that when the JPO has determined that at least one claim of an application is patentable, the MIH will grant a patent to the related Cambodian application at an early date. According to the Joint Statement of Intent on Cooperation for facilitating Patent Grant of Cambodia-related patent application, dated 4 May 2016, the applicant will need to specifically request the MIH for an accelerated patent decision. Further details are specified in the procedural guidelines appended to the agreement, which we’ll summarize in a further post. The program will begins on July 1, 2016 and last until 2022, if not extended or terminated.

Together with last year’s cooperation on patent granting with Singapore, the JPO program is a landmark in the development of patent rights in Cambodia. It builds on a memorandum of cooperation of 2014 between the JPO and Ministry of Commerce, and promises to further deepen the cooperation through a joint series of IP seminars in the years to come.