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24th April, 2018

The President of the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Cambodian Minister of Industry and Handcraft signed an agreement on the validation of European patents that came into effect since 1 March 2018. This sets Cambodia to become the first country in Asia to validate European patents in the Asian region and now part of the 38-member states of the EPO. From the date of 1 March 2018, it will be possible to validate European patents applications in Cambodia, after the validation, the patents will confer the same protections as the patents granted by the EPO. This agreement aids on the reduction of patent processing time, costs incurred to the applicants, and administrative burden faced by the Cambodian Patent Office.

The following requirements must be met in order to validate European patents in Cambodia:

  1. The European patent must have a filing date that falls on or after 1 March 2018. Validation is not available for patents filed prior to 1 March 2018;
  2. The European patent must align with the Law on Patents in force in Cambodia, an example of which pharmaceutical products are excluded from patent protection until the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of IP Rights (TRIPS) have expired; and
  3. The claims of the European patents must be translated into the Khmer Language.

A validation fee of EUR180 must be paid to the EPO within six (6) months from publication of the European Search Report provided by the EPO. After the expiry of the above basic time limit, the validation fee can still be paid within a two months grace period in which a surcharge of 50% is paid on top of the validation fee. If the validation fee is not paid within the period, the request for validation will be deemed withdrawn. Within three months of the grant by EPO, the applicant will then need to submit a request to validate the European patent as a Cambodian national patent with the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft.