In February 2014, the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy of Cambodia (“Ministry”) issued new rules implementing Article 46 of Cambodian Law on Patents, Utility Model Certificates and Industrial Designs.

Article 46 states that “[i]n order to maintain the patent or patent application, an annual fee shall be paid in advance to the Registrar for each year, starting one (1) year after the filing date of the application for grant of the patent. A period of grace of six (6) months shall be allowed for the late payment of the annual fee on payment of the prescribed surcharge as referred to in Article 130 of this Law. If an annual fee is not paid in accordance with the provisions of this Article, the patent application shall be deemed to have been withdrawn or the patent shall lapse.”

Prior to the issuance of the new rules, the first annuity payment as stated in Article 46 has not been followed in practice. Practitioners in Cambodia pay the first annuity fee on the fifth year anniversary of the filing date despite the clear mandate of Article 46 of the Cambodian Law on Patents. To avoid confusion and ensure compliance with the law in force, the Ministry issued new rules directing payment of the annuity fees starting on the 2nd year anniversary of the filing date of the application. In other words, annuity fees shall be due and payable during pendency of the patent application.

Further, the new rules specifically waive the annuity fees due for pending application for 2012 and earlier.

Hereunder is a sample annuity chart for a patent filed in Cambodia in 2011. The outstanding annuities can still be paid and late payment has no effect to the validity of the application.

Click here to view table.