Cambodia Signs Agreement To Protect European Patents

The European Patent Office headquarters in Munich, where examiners are in charge of studying European patent applications, filed by applicants, in order to decide whether to grant a patent for an invention.

The Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts signed a new validation agreement with the European Patent Office (EPO) yesterday that will see Cambodia become the first Southeast Asian country to recognise and protect European patents.

Expected to come into effect in July, the agreement also allows companies and individuals to obtain patent protection in up to 43 European and non-European countries with a single European patent application.

EPO president Benoît Battistelli said the agreement with Cambodia was positive news for the development of the European patent system, as it “extends its attractiveness” beyond the European market and its immediate neighbourhood. “The recognition of the European patent by an Asian country demonstrates its global impact, also in the context of a least-developed economy,” added Battistelli.

The EPO predicts that, due to the legal framework of the deal, Cambodia could benefit from further European investment. While the patent agreement protects European intellectual property rights, European pharmaceuticals are exempted from the agreement as Cambodia applied its World Trade Organisation waiver.

Intellectual Property Association of Cambodia director Pich Ang said that the Ministry has pushed to be included in patent agreements, with the government considering it a key pillar for global economic inclusion. “This shows that Cambodia wants to strengthen its protection for intellectual property,” he said.

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