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Pact to protect European patents takes effect

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
The Nokia 8110 4G, a European product that could be covered by the patent agreement. Supplied

The validation agreement between the European Patent Organization and Cambodia, a pact envisioned to protect European patents in the kingdom, entered into force yesterday.

To mark the event, the ministry held a ceremony yesterday presided over by Cham Prasidh, the Minister of Industry and Handicraft.

Oum Sotha, spokesman at the ministry, said the accord is meant to protect the interests of EU investors in Cambodia.

“The agreement seeks to build trust between EU investors and inventors. Cambodia will now recognise and protect every EU invention used in the Cambodian market,” Mr Sotha said.

He added that the agreement will attract more investment and foster innovation.

Starting yesterday, it will be possible to validate European patents in Cambodia, where they will be afforded the same level of protection as in Europe.

European patents granted by the European Patent Organization and validated in Cambodia will have the same legal effects as a corresponding Cambodian patent and will be subject to Cambodian patent law.

The validation agreement was signed on January 23 last year by the president of the European Patent Organization and Minister Prasidh.

It was later ratified on November 24, when King Norodom Sihamoni promulgated decree NºNS/RKM/1117/017.

On December 8, declaration Nº282 MIH/2017 was adopted on the regulation and procedures for the validation of European patents in Cambodia, creating the legal basis necessary for the validation system to operate.

Benoît Battistelli, president of the European Patent Organization, explained that the entry into force of the validation agreement with Cambodia extends the attractiveness of the European patent system beyond Europe. He said it represents a reduction of both processing times and costs for applicants and a decrease of the administrative burden for the Cambodian patent office.

“The accompanying technical co-operation between the European Patent Organization and the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft will contribute to the development of the Cambodian national patent system,” Mr Battistelli said.

“The validation of European patents is also an important element of foreign investment strategies in Cambodia.”

Mr Battistelli added that the recognition of European patents by an Asian country is further proof of their global relevance, especially for regions with a dynamic development.

He said the signing of the validation agreement is in line with the country’s efforts to modernise its intellectual property system in order to boost the economy and attract foreign direct investment.

Cambodia has also signed patent agreements with China, Singapore and Japan.

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