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Patent registration in Cambodia

Cambodia is emerging as an attractive destination for inventors and businesses looking to protect their patents. Cambodia’s economy is growing rapidly with an average GDP growth rate of 7% per year over the past decade. This creates an enabling environment for businesses and investors, driving demand for innovative products and services. Cambodia is located in the center of Southeast Asia, with easy access to major markets such as Thailand, Vietnam and China. This makes it easy for inventors and businesses to bring their innovative products to regional and global markets. Cambodia has a young and rapidly growing population, creating potential markets for innovative products and services. Moreover, Cambodia is integrating more and more deeply into the regional and global economy, opening up export opportunities for innovative products. Currently, the Cambodian government is committed to promoting innovation and has issued many support policies for inventors and businesses. Support programs such as tax incentives, sponsorship, training, consultancy … help inventors easily access resources and bring their patents to market. Therefore, more and more applicants want to register patents in Cambodia, Viet An Law would like to guide customers preliminarily the procedure for patent registration in Cambodia through the article below.

Patent registration in Cambodia

Table of contents


    Legal basis

    • The Law on Patents, Utility Model Certificates and Industrial Design, came into effect in January 2003

    Definition of patent in Cambodia

    Under Cambodian law, an patent is an exclusive right granted to an inventor for a new, innovative technical solution with  industrial applicability. This means:

    • New technical solution: The patent must be new and has not been previously publicized anywhere in the world.
    • Creativity: The patent must not be obvious to someone with common knowledge or skills in the relevant technical field.
    • Capable of industrial application: The patent must be able to produce or use in industry.

    Conditions for patent registration in Cambodia

    To be granted a patent in Cambodia, the applicant’s patent must meet the following criteria:

    Novelty: The patent must be completely new and has not been previously made public anywhere in the world prior to the date of filing the patent application. This patent includes publications, presentations, public use or sale of patents.

    Creativity: Patent must not be obvious to someone with common knowledge or skills in the relevant technical field. It should involve a creative step that is not obvious that makes it unique compared to existing solutions.

    Industrial applicability: The patent must be able to produce or use in industry. It must have practical application and be reproducible.

    Other requirements:

    • The patent must not violate public order or morality.
    • Discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods and purely aesthetic creativity are not patented in Cambodia.

    Patent lookup in Cambodia

    There are two main ways to seek patents in Cambodia:

    Directly through the Cambodian Intellectual Property Office (CIPTO)

    Using an online patent search tool

    Several online platforms offer the ability to search for patents across multiple countries, including Cambodia. Here are a few options:

    • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO): WIPO’s PatentScope database allows applicants to search for international patents, including those filed in Cambodia. Although the interface may not be convenient for some users, the system offers comprehensive search capabilities and is available in English (https://patentscope.wipo.int/).
    • Espacenet: Espacenet is another comprehensive patent database that allows searching by country, including Cambodia. This interface is easier to use than WIPO’s PatentScope but requires account creation to be able to look up (https://worldwide.espacenet.com/).

    Instructions for preparing the necessary information when seeking patents in Cambodia

    • Keyword: Use keywords that are related to the applicant’s area of interest when searching.
    • International Patent Classification (IPC): If the applicant has an understanding of the IPC system, the applicant can use specific IPC codes to narrow down patent searches in specific technical areas.
    • Applicant/inventor name: If the applicant knows the name of the inventor or applicant, the applicant can search specifically for their patent.
    • English vs. Khmer: Although some databases may offer the option of searching in English, some Cambodian patents may only be available in Khmer. Applicants should consider using a translation tool if necessary.

    Patent application in Cambodia

    To apply for a patent in Cambodia, the applicant needs to prepare a dossier that includes the following documents:

    Essential Records:

    • Patent application: This form can be downloaded from the website of the Intellectual Property Office of Cambodia (CIPTO) (https://www.moc.gov.kh/). The application form usually asks for details about the applicant, inventor, and patent information.
    • Detailed description of the patent: This document should clearly explain the technical features, functions and advantages of the patent. This text should be written in Khmer – the official language of Cambodia.
    • Claims: These requirements determine the scope of protection that the applicant wants for his patent.

    Additional documents (may require):

    • Drawings or illustrations: These images visually represent the patent and can be helpful in understanding its technical details.
    • Patent Statement: This document identifies the inventor (inventors) of the patent.
    • Receipt of payment of filing fee: The fee associated with filing a patent application.

    For Foreign Applicants:

    • Intellectual Property Representation in Cambodia: Foreign applicants are usually required to apply through a registered representative in Cambodia to handle the application process. This representative can assist in navigating legal, translation and exchange issues with CIPTO.
    • Priority Document (if applicable): If the applicant has filed a patent application for the same patent in another country and wishes to claim priority based on the previous filing date, the applicant will need to submit a certified copy of the priority document, which can be translated into Khmer.

    Patent registration in Cambodia through PCT system

    What is a PCT system?

    The PCT system stands for  Patent Cooperation Treaty – an international treaty that aims to create a uniform process for filing international patent applications. The system is administered by  the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and has more than 150 countries involved, including Cambodia. Cambodia acceded to the Treaty on 08/12/2016

    Benefits of PCT system:

    • Time and cost savings: The PCT system allows applicants to file a single patent application for patent protection in multiple Treaty countries, instead of having to file a separate application in each country. This saves time, costs and administrative procedures.
    • Postponement of national filing deadline: When filing a PCT application, the applicant has an additional 30 months to decide which country the applicant wants to protect the patent. This is valuable time for the applicant to assess the commercial potential of the patent and prepare for the national filing.
    • Simplified Process: The PCT system uses a common set of rules and procedures for all participating countries, which simplifies the filing process and saves time for both the applicant and the national patent office.
    • Early Search Information: The International Patent Search Office and Written Opinion will provide the applicant with information about the novelty and patentability of the patent, helping the applicant make an informed decision about the national filing.
    • Strengthening international cooperation: The PCT system encourages international cooperation in the field of patents by creating a common platform for the exchange of information and sharing of experiences between countries.
    • Innovation support: PCT systems help promote innovation by reducing the procedural burden on inventors and making it easier for them to protect their patents worldwide.

    Patent application through PCT system

    To file a patent application through the PCT system, you need to prepare a dossier that includes the following documents:

    • PCT Application: Applications can be submitted in Vietnamese or English, however, it is recommended to be submitted in English to facilitate the processing process. You can download the PCT form from the WIPO website: https://www.wipo.int/pct/en/forms/
    • Description of patent: The description of the patent should present details and clarity about the patent, including:
      • Patent Name Technical field
      • Patent summary
      • Detailed explanation of the patent
      • Drawings (if any)
      • Claims for protection
    • Claim for protection: The claim should clearly define the scope of protection that the applicant wants for the patent.
    • Patent Declaration: The patent statement should clearly identify the inventor (or inventors).
    • Letter of Authorization (if applicable): If the applicant uses an intellectual property representative to file the application, the applicant should provide a Power of Attorney Letter authorizing the representative to represent the applicant on behalf of the applicant during the application process and processing the procedure.

    Additional documents (may require):

    • Priority Document (if applicable): If the applicant filed a patent application for the same patent in another country prior to filing the PCT application, the applicant may claim priority based on the filing date.
    • Translation (if applicable): If any of the documents on file are not in English or French, the applicant needs to provide a translation into either of these languages.
    • Application fee: The applicant needs to pay the PCT application fee to the International Reception Office (IB).

    Patent registration service in Cambodia of Viet An Law Firm

    • Carry out the search and notify customers in writing the results of patent search in Cambodia;
    • Drafting dossiers and directly submitting and monitoring the status of patent applications filed in Cambodia on behalf of patent owners;
    • Inform, advise and handle deficiencies/refusals of competent State agencies (if any) in the process of monitoring patent applications in Cambodia;
    • Support monitoring, representing the resolution of objections and feedback with intellectual property representatives to carry out procedures in Cambodia.
    • Receive dispatches, certificates and hand over to customers (if any).

    If you need to file a patent application in Cambodia, please contact Viet An Law for the most effective support.

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