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Kingdom to strengthen intellectual property culture with new EPO pact

Chhut Bunthoeun / Khmer Times Share:
Cambodian government and European Patent Office representatives pose for a picture after signing the agreement last week. EPO

Cambodia and the European Patent Office last week bolstered ties with the signing of a new cooperation agreement to increase awareness of patents and intellectual property in the Kingdom.

The agreement, signed between the Cambodian Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts and EPO at its headquarters in Munich, Germany, seeks to strengthen the Kingdom’s capacity to administer patents, as well as promote an intellectual property and patent culture.

Under the agreement, EPO experts will train ministry staff. Particular attention will be given to increasing understanding of the usefulness of patent information among academic institutions and businesses.

“A series of workshops will also be held to explain the functioning of the patent system to national stakeholders,” EPO noted in a press release.

A validation agreement between Cambodia and EPO to protect European patents in the Kingdom entered into force March last year. Last week, both parties reviewed the pact’s implementation to date.

Regarding the review, EPO President Antonio Campinos said, “We are proud of the joint work done and results achieved over the past two years.”

He praised the Kingdom’s fast economic growth and its development of a solid global patenting strategy.

“For European companies, it provides further business and investment opportunities by extending the geographic coverage of their European patents to Cambodia,” he said.

Cambodia was the first Asian country to recognise European patents on its territory.

Cham Prasidh, Minister of Industry and Handicraft, said, “The validation system is a part of our long-term strategy to attract foreign investment. It is also an important way of boosting national innovation.”

He said the validation system offers a shortcut for inventors to have their invention, already patented by the EPO, validated and protected almost immediately in Cambodia.

“Investors interested in using Cambodia as a springboard for exporting their products to privileged markets will benefit from seeking protection for their invention in Cambodia,” the minister said.

According to EPO, Cambodia has received 85 patent applications so far this year. Most of them came from foreign firms. 67 were received in the whole of 2018.

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