Building bridges through cooperation: EPO and Cambodian Ministry of Industry and Handicraft host first IP conference

31 January 2020

Senior Minister of Industry and Handicraft Cham Prasidh, EPO President António Campinos and their respective delegations at the first joint IP conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

This week the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (MIH) hosted their first joint IP conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Organised with the support of EuroCham Cambodia and with a welcoming speech by the Ambassador of the EU to Cambodia, Ms Carmen Moreno, the conference celebrated the significant validation registrations being witnessed since the implementation of the EPO-MIH validation agreement which came into force in March 2018, stressing the importance of IP rights in both attracting foreign direct investment as well as supporting innovation locally.

Speaking at the event, EPO President António Campinos emphasised that the validation agreement with Cambodia took "the coverage of European patents for the first time far beyond the European neighbourhood, to show that the EPO can deliver top-quality patents to fast-developing economies anywhere in the world," adding that the EPO's international cooperation with its partners around the globe, "can eliminate the need for duplicitous patent prosecution processes, and allow fast-developing IP systems to focus their efforts on resident patent filings and supporting local innovation."

"The validation system with the EPO already results in around 75 filings per month in Cambodia," said Senior Minister of Industry and Handicraft Cham Prasidh. "We expect this to result in increased foreign direct investment, along with associated technology transfer, growth and jobs in Cambodia. We look forward to the incorporation of Cambodian patent data into the EPO's Espacenet and the associated increase in exposure of Cambodian innovation." 

Cambodia was the first Asian country to recognise European patents on its territory. Under the validation agreement with the EPO, inventors and businesses filing for patent protection at the EPO can also extend protection given by a European patent to Cambodia. The validation agreement is now being systematically used, and significant numbers of validations of around 75 per month have been coming in since around October 2019.

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