In the latest of a series of moves to modernize intellectual property rights, Cambodia has signed an agreement with the European Patent Office (EPO) that the two sides say would make it the first Asian country to directly recognize European patents within its borders.
Patents are typically granted separately by individual jurisdictions, even while their applications are streamlined globally through international agreements—notably the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which Cambodia signed last year.
According to an EPO announcement on Tuesday, the new arrangement is scheduled to come into force in July once it is adopted into Cambodian law.
Phe Chan Travuth, director of the Industry and Handicrafts Ministry’s industrial property department, which is responsible for patent and design cases, said Cambodia’s recognition of European patents should make it an attractive market for the owners of such patents.
“I believe this new agreement will serve as a great opportunity to attract more foreign investment from these member states to invest in Cambodia, knowing that their patents will be protected,” he said.
As for the EPO, “the recognition of the European patent by an Asian country demonstrates its global impact, also in the context of a least-developed economy,” said EPO president Benoit Battistelli.