Under a recent Memorandum of Understanding between the Cambodian Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (MIH) and the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO), Chinese invention patents may be validated by filing the necessary documents and payment of the prescribed fee, thereby extending the exclusive rights to Cambodia. To date, 20 patents belonging to three applicants have been accepted for validation.
The Chinese patent must have been granted and be in good order, with a filing date after January 22, 2003 (the date of signature of the Cambodian patent law). As the system is retrospective, all Chinese invention patents, so long as filed after the effective date, are eligible for validation. Design patents and utility models are excluded from the validation system. Further, the validation is unilateral – Cambodian patents may not be validated in China. As pharmaceutical patents are not protected under Cambodian patent law, Chinese pharmaceutical patents may not be validated.
Validation must be requested by a licensed agent in Cambodia before the Department of Industrial Property within the MIH. The validation request is composed of:
– Request form
– Certified copy of the Chinese patent description, claims, abstracts and drawings (if any)
– Certificate of patent registration issued by SIPO
– Original notarized power of attorney appointing the agent
– Translation into the Khmer language, which can be filed within six months of the request
The validated patent is valid in Cambodia for the remaining term of the Chinese patent, subject to the prescribed annual maintenance fees. Thus, if the Chinese patent has six years of its term remaining, the validated Cambodian patent will have a six-year term. The expected processing time is around 20 days. The MIH only examines the request for formalities; should there be any deficiency, the requestor will have the opportunity to rectify it within two months.