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On April 29, 2024, the Department of Industrial Property (DIP) in Cambodia launched and made the official patent and industrial design databases available to the public. To-date, there are 1486 entries in the patent database with the earliest record having a filing date of 30 August 2006 and the latest 20 November 2023. Approximately 400 patent records are still missing but are expected to be updated soon. As for industrial designs, there are 1205 records with the earliest having a filing date of 29 November 2006 and the latest 26 February 2024.

The launch of the official databases for patents and industrial designs marks a significant milestone for intellectual property rights management in Cambodia. These databases provide a centralized platform where innovators, researchers, businesses and any interested parties can search for existing patents and industrial designs, ensuring that their creations are unique and not infringing on others’ rights. It also facilitates the assessment of potential intellectual property infringement risks for new products and services before they are introduced to the country.

By making these databases accessible to the public, governments and organizations promote transparency and facilitate innovation by providing a clear understanding of the intellectual property landscape. It also helps streamline the patent application process, making it easier for individuals and businesses to protect their inventions and designs.

Overall, the launch of official databases for patents and industrial designs marks a positive step towards fostering innovation, protecting intellectual property rights, and promoting economic growth.

On the same note, it is also important to draw attention to some patent cooperation agreements that Cambodia has entered with jurisdictions such as the European Union, China and Singapore. Since March 2018, it is possible to validate European Patent (“EP”) applications and patents in Cambodia. Such validated EP patents in Cambodia will confer essentially the same protection as patents granted by the EPO. As for China and Singapore, both countries have entered into a patent re-registration agreement with Cambodia. For any Chinese or Singapore patents that are in force and with filing date after January 2003, it can be re-registered in Cambodia. The Cambodia patent office will grant a patent when the formality requirements are met, and the patents fall within the scope of patentable subject matter, excluding non-patentable categories such as pharmaceutical products. The re-registered patents will enjoy the same level of protection as any regular Cambodia patents. With such agreements in place, and given a possible lag between when a patent application is filed, published, re-registered or validated, as the case may be, interested parties may have to look beyond the Cambodia patent database when formulating their freedom-to-operate assessment.