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Update to Cambodia’s patent renewals system

Cambodia’s Department of Industrial Property (DIP) of the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation (MISTI, formerly known as Ministry of Industry and Handicraft – MIH) recently announced changes to the country’s patent renewals system, set to take effect on Wednesday, August 14, 2024.

The changes to the patent renewals system entail patent proprietors to promptly provide payments to the MISTI to ensure that patent rights remain in force, or otherwise be required to make payments with additional penalties. Previously, such requirements as set out in Cambodia’s patent law were not applied strictly, and patent proprietors had leeway to provide payments for renewals with no time limit, and without additional fees. However, such a practice is set to cease.

Moving forward, pursuant to the issuance of 2023’s Prakas (Declaration) on the Public Service Fees and Prakas on Late Fees, the DIP of MISTI has stipulated that after the 12-month renewal period of a patent has expired, patent proprietors are still allowed to make payments accordingly during a six-month grace period. However, an additional daily late fee of 500 Khmer riels (approximately US$0.12) shall also be imposed. In addition, if so desired, patent proprietors may choose to pay in advance the renewal fees within a three-month pre-payment window.

Failing payment of the renewal fees at the end of the six-month grace period, the patent shall be deemed as abandoned and invalid. In such a situation, patent proprietors have the option of filing a request for restoration during the remaining term of the patent (i.e. before the end of 20 years from the filing date of the patent application). Restoration of a Cambodian patent entails a restoration fee of US$25, in addition to the late fee calculated daily as above, and any outstanding renewal payments yet to be paid.

A workshop providing details on the changes was organized by the DIP of MISTI on February 14, 2024.

The changes above similarly apply to utility models and plant variety protection.

This article was first published in the IP Analysts column of Asia IP.