In 2016, Cambodia became the 151st member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, allowing entry into national phase in Cambodia for international patent applications. The Designated (or Elected) Office in Cambodia under the PCT is the Department of Industrial Property of Cambodia of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (DIPC). The time limit for entry into the national phase is 30 months from the priority date. The PCT entered into force in Cambodia on December 8, 2016, thus only international applications filed on or after this date may enter the National Phase in Cambodia.

In order to enter the PCT national phase in Cambodia, the following documentation must be submitted – in original – to the DIPC:

–        Certified copy of the International Application

–        An original notarized Power of Attorney

–        An original notarized statement justifying the applicant’s right to the patent

–        Name and address of the inventor, if they have not been furnished in the “request” part of the international application

–        Evidence of entitlement to claim priority, if the applicant is not the applicant who filed the earlier application

–        Document evidencing a change of name of the applicant, if the change occurred after the international filing date

The international application may be submitted in English but will need to be translated into the Cambodian language (Khmer).

Pharmaceutical inventions are excluded from patent protection in Cambodia, as the country was granted a temporary exception to TRIPS obligations as a least-developed country.

The competent international searching authorities are the European Patent Office, Japan Patent Office, Intellectual Property Office of Singapore and National Intellectual Property Administration of China. Assuming the international search has been carried out by that authority, each may also serve as the competent international preliminary examining authority.

Of particular note is that the Kingdom has opted out of Article 59 of the Treaty, which gives the International Court of Justice jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes between contracting states.

For more information on the patent system in general, refer to our Guide to Patent Law in Cambodia.