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. However, the payment of the official fees still remain per mark, per class.
Fewer Mark Specimens: Applicants no longer have to submit fifteen separate copies of the mark, a single one will be accepted.
Immediate Acknowledgment of Filing: Instead of having to wait two weeks from the filing date, the acknowledgment of filing will be issued immediately upon submission of the application.
Faster Publication: All registered marks will be published online on the Department of Intellectual Property's website every Friday at 3:00pm Phnom Penh time. This significantly accelerates the publication, and shortens the time for filing an opposition, as compared to the traditional Official Gazette, which often appeared with significant delay.
These changes are relatively technical, but are significant improvements in the daily operations of the DIP, cutting down on paperwork and making better use of limited resources through technology. More such improvements are in the works, according to the WIPO Representative, including an online database of licensed trademark agents, automatic notification of applicants when documents are ready to collect, and eventually a full e-filing system. Stay tuned.
Update: A version of this article appeared in the International Trademark Association Bulletin on January 15, 2016
For more about the Cambodian trademark system, please refer to our Guide to Trademark Law in Cambodia.