Cambodia, officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is an independent country with a population of Registration and Protection of Certification Marks in Cambodia. Thereby, in order to protect industrial property rights, and intellectual property of individuals and legal entities who intend to invest in Cambodia, We would like to introduce to readers an article on the registration and protection of Certification Marks in Cambodia.

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Trademark definition in Cambodia

Trademark means any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods (trademark) or services (service mark) of an enterprise[1].

Like in Vietnam, type of trademarks includes:

  • Mark;
  • Collective mark;
  • Certification mark.

Certification Mark means any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof indicating that the goods and/or services in connection with which the mark is used are certified by the registered owner of the mark in respect of the origin, material/s, mode of manufacture of goods or performance of services, quality, accuracy, or other characteristics[2].

Valid trademark

Pursuant to Article 4. Law concerning  Marks, Trade Names and Acts of unfair competition on 2002 in Cambodia, Trademarks can not be validly registered in the following cases:

  1. If it is incapable of distinguishing  the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises;
  2. If it is contrary to public order or morality or good custom;
  3. If  it  is  likely  to  mislead  the  public or trade  circles,  in particular as regards the  geographical origin of  the goods or services  concerned or their nature or characteristics;
  4. If it is identical with, or is an imitation of or  contains as an element, an armorial  bearing,  flag  and  other  emblem,  a name or abbreviation or initials  of  the  name  of , or  official  sign or hallmark adopted by, any State, intergovernmental  organization  or  organization  created  by an international convention, unless authorized by  the competent authority of that State or organization;
  5. If   it  is  identical  with,  or   confusingly   similar  to,  or  constitutes  a translation of,  a  mark  or  trade  name  which  is  well   known  in  the Kingdom  of  Cambodia  for  identical  or  similar goods or  services of another enterprise;
  6. If  it  is  identical  with,  or  confusingly   similar   to,   or  constitutes  a translation   of   a   mark   or   trade   name  which  is  well-known  and registered  in  the  Kingdom of Cambodia  for  goods or services which are  not  identical or similar to those in respect of  which registration is applied for , provided that use of the mark in relation to those goods or services would indicate a connection  between  those goods or services and the owner  of  the  well-known mark that the interests of the owner of  the  well-known  mark  are  likely  to  be  damaged  by  such use;
  7. If  it  is  identical  with  a  mark  belonging to a different proprietor and already  on  the  Register,  or  with  an  earlier filing or priority date, in respect  of  the  same  goods  or  services  or  closely  related  goods  or services, or  if  it  so  nearly  resembles such  a  mark  as to be likely to deceive or cause confusion.

Application for Registration

In addition, the application for registration of a certification mark shall be filed together with the following:

  1. A statement that the applicant will not be engaged in the production or marketing of the goods or provision of services that are identical with or similar to those for which the certification mark is provided;
  2. Evidence that the applicant is a legal person. 
  3. A regulation governing the use (Regulation of Use) of the certification mark. Such regulation will include at least the following:
    • The standards relating to the origin, the material/s, the mode of manufacture of goods or performance of services, the quality, the accuracy, or other characteristics that are to be certified by the mark;
    • The manner in which the registered owner shall verify those standards;
    • The mechanisms that the registered owner will employ to supervise the correct use of the certification mark and the continued compliance with the above standards;
    • The manners in which the certification marks will be used on products and services;
    • The fees payable, if any, for the use of the mark;
    • The procedures for settling disputes.
  4. Others as may be prescribed by the law and regulations or indicated in the application form.
  5. A certification mark filed by a foreign legal person must be accompanied by the proof of the registration or application for registration of the mark in the country of origin.
  6. Power of Attorney, if the application is filed by the local trademark agent.

If a certification mark ceases to be protected, it may not be the subject matter of an application for registration under the Law Concerning Marks, Trade Names and Acts of Unfair Competition, nor be used by anybody prior to the expiry of 10 years from the date of termination of the protection, unless the competent authority approves the continuation of the certification scheme by another legal person that proves to comply with the requirements listed above[3].

Competent authority

The Ministry of Commerce shall delegate all functions relating to the registration, protection and management of certification mark to the Department of Intellectual Property.

Above is our article on the registration and protection of Certification Marks in Cambodia. We hope the article can answer any lingering questions that readers may have.

Thank you!

[1] Article 2.a. Law concerning  Marks, Trade Names and Acts of unfair competition in 2002 in Cambodia

[2] Article 4 Prakas (a Circular that provides guidelines) on the Procedure for the Registration and Protection of Certification Marks

[3] Article 15.2 Prakas on the Procedure for the Registration and Protection of Certification Marks

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