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Refusals of International Trademark Applications: Calculating Deadlines

A brief post about a common topic our clients keep asking: how long does one have to respond to a provisional refusal of an application designating Cambodia under the Madrid System?

The shortest answer is 60 days, plus the next business day, from the date of notification from WIPO.

But calculating the exact date must be pieced together from a number of sources:

1. Notification of a Provisional Refusal or Protection of an International Registration Designating Cambodia

Towards the end of this document, , should be stated "The applicant must respond in writing to this provisional refusal within sixty (60) days from receipt of the notification of this refusal from the International Bureau".

2. Cover Letter from WIPO

Accompanying the Notification of a Provisional Refusal, the applicant should also receive from WIPO a brief cover letter containing the following dates:

Date on which the notification was sent to WIPO : 15/04/2019

Date of receipt by WIPO : 15/04/2019

Date of notification by WIPO to the holder : 26/04/2019

It is only this last date that matters for calculating the sixty day deadline. In the example above, the deadline would be 25/06/2019. Do NOT simply add two months, obviously. A handy calculator can be found here.

3. Weekends & Holidays

When the 60-day mark falls on a weekend or official holiday, on which the Trademark Office is closed, the next business day is set as the deadline. Official holidays are set by an official government pronouncement towards the end of the year, and vary from year to year. While the number has been cut back in recent years, Cambodia still has over 20 official holidays, which is high by international standards. Consult a reliable source, like the National Bank of Cambodia - many websites will post incorrect information.

Finally, if more time is needed to reach a decision or assemble information to respond to the provisional refusal, a simple request for time extension can be filed. This grants another 60 days from the date the Registrar grants the extension request, which in turn takes several months to obtain.

As stated in the Notification of Provisional Refusal, failure to respond by the deadline will result in abandonment of the international registration.


For more about the Cambodian trademark system, please refer to our Guide to Trademark Law in Cambodia.


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