Under a new bilateral program agreed on October 23, 2020, US patents may now be used to accelerate the examination of Cambodian patent applications. This is the latest in a series of bilateral agreements allowing foreign patent owners to extend their rights to Cambodia in an accelerated and efficient process, including for Chinese, Singaporean, Korean, Japanese, and European patents.
The legal framework for the process is set forth in the "Prakas (Declaration) on the Acceleration of Patent Grant in Cambodia Under the Cooperation on the Cambodia-Related Patent Application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office" (English, Khmer), issued on March 29, 2021.
Under the regulation, holders of Cambodian patent applications may request an accelerated decision based on a granted US patent.
At the outset, the Cambodian patent application must meet one of the following:
A patent application validly claiming priority under the Paris Convention based on the corresponding US patent application;
A patent application that serves as the basis for validly claiming priority under the Paris Convention for the corresponding US patent application including a PCT patent application that entered the national phase; or
A patent application that is based on the same patent application for claiming priority under the Paris Convention, as the corresponding US patent application including PCT patent application that entered the national phase.
It should be stressed that the patent must still meet the subject matter criteria for Cambodian patents, which differs from the US standard. In particular, Cambodia does not currently provide patent protection for pharmaceutical products. Thus, such patents would not be granted under the program, even if a US corresponding patent has been granted.
Further, only patents with filing dates after January 22, 2003 (the date of entry into force of the Cambodian Patent Law), may take advantage of the program.
To request acceleration, the applicant must have a granted US registration with an earliest filing date the same as the Cambodian patent and a granted US patent. Further, there must be claims in the Cambodian patent that are the same as one or more of the US patent.
Regarding documentation, the request for acceleration must include:
A copy of the patent gazette in the corresponding US patent application, and its certification by the USPTO;
Translation of claims and specification described in the patent gazette in Khmer. The applicant shall provide the translation of the specification within one month from the date on which the request was filed;
Claims correspondence table between all the claims in the Cambodian application and those in the US patent that were deemed patentable.
According to the implementing declaration, the request for acceleration is not subject to any additional fees.
For more about patents in Cambodia, please refer to our Guide to Patent Law in Cambodia