Cambodia recognises its first patent - and it's from Singapore

SINGAPORE - Cambodia has recognised its first-ever patent and it was from Singapore, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) announced on Tuesday.

IPOS said businesses or inventors seeking patent protection in Cambodia may now do so through its office.

The landmark application was based on a positive report by IPOS' search & examination unit and comes less than two months after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between IPOS and Cambodia's Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts (MIH)

The recognition of the first Singapore patent formally took place in Phnom Penh on March 4, through an exchange of the Singapore application form and Cambodia patent certificate between Senior Minister of MIH, Mr Cham Prasidh, and the chief executive of IPOS, Mr Tan Yih San.

IPOS said the successful collaboration with Cambodia is a reaffirmation of Singapore's search and examination capability as the country prepares to become Asean's first fully operational International Searching Authority (ISA), and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in September this year.

Alongside ongoing patent work-sharing programmes like the Asean Patent Examination Cooperation (ASPEC), the cooperation between Singapore and Cambodia enables prospective companies to access the regional common market more effectively, IPOS.

This is in line with the region's plans for the formation of the Asean Economic Community in 2015, it added.

Said Mr Prasidh: "This is a momentous moment in the history of intellectual property cooperation between Cambodia and Singapore. The arrangement is an embodiment of Asean integration and greater harmonisation in the region to allow businesses to enjoy expedited patents protection."

IPOS CEO Mr Tan said: "This collaboration simplified and reaffirmed two countries' commitment to better support businesses seeking cross-border investment in the combined market of more than 20 million people. We remain committed in forging a strong and inter-operable IP system for the creators in both countries and beyond."