The European Patent Office (EPO) has been busy in setting up Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programmes and cooperation agreements with countries across Asia regarding the recognition of European Patents. As Cambodia continues to seek the modernization of its intellectual property infrastructures, on January 23rd, the Cambodian Minister of Industry Cham Prasidh and the President of the EPO Benoît Battistelli signed an agreement which will lead to all European Patents to being recognized in Cambodia upon demand by the applicant. The cooperation agreement makes it possible for companies and inventors to obtain protection through a single patent application in 43 European and non-European jurisdictions. Cambodia is the first Asian country to recognize European Patents.

The agreement is expected to become effective by July 1st, at which time it should have been adopted into Cambodian law. However, it must be noted that Cambodia has wished to exclude pharmaceutical products from the agreement for the duration of the transitional period. In addition to this agreement, Mr. Prasidh and Mr. Battistelli also signed a cooperation plan with the intention of strengthening the Cambodian authorities’ capacity to deal with the growing number of patent application received each year.