On 1st March 2018, the Agreement on Validation of European Patent (the “Validation Agreement”) enters into force in Cambodia. Henceforth, it is possible to request for validation of the European patent in Cambodia and thus obtain the same protection as national patent granted by the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (the “MIH”).
In January 2017, the Royal Government of Cambodia and the EPO entered into Agreement on Validation of European Patent. In November 2017, the law on ratification of the Validation Agreement was promulgated. And from 1st March 2018 onward, the European patent holder may request for its validation in Cambodia through a simplified and accelerated procedure set forth in the Prakas No. 282 MIH/2017 dated 08 December 2017 of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (the “Prakas No.282 MIH/2017”).
In accordance with Prakas No. 282 MIH/2017, the validation procedure is applicable to both European patent and European patent application which refers to either the patent application filed with the EPO under the framework of the European Patent Convention (the “EPC”) or the international application for patent registration filed under the framework of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (the “PCT”) having designation of both the EPO and Cambodia. Moreover, the eligible European patent and European patent application will have a filing date on or after the date of entry into force of the Validation Agreement in Cambodia, i.e. 1st March 2018.
A request for validation of European patent will be filed with the EPO who will then notify the MIH of such request. The validation fee of EUR 180 should be paid to the EPO within six months of the publication of the validation in the European Patent Bulletin, or, where applicable, within the period for performing the acts required for an international application’s entry into the European phase. A two-month grace period is granted in the case of late payment of the validation fee within the prescribed period, provided that a surcharge of 50% is also paid within that grace period.
Once validated, the European patent will have the same effect as national patent granted by the MIH in accordance with the Patent Law of Cambodia from the date of publication of the patent grant by the EPO. Within 3 months from the date of publication of granting European patent, the patent holder shall provide the MIH with the Khmer and English translation and pay the prescribed publication fee. Moreover, the annuity of the validated European patent will be paid to the MIH after the year of publication of the grant of European patent.
It is worth noting that European patent for pharmaceutical products will not be validated in Cambodia until expiry of the transitional period for protection of pharmaceutical patent for LDCs as decided by the TRIPS Council. Furthermore, the right conferred by the validated European patent will not affect the prior right of the person who has previously utilized or improved the protected invention in good faith.
For further information and consultation, please contact:
Dr. Phin Sovath, Partner
H/P: +855 95 555 817
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