On 4 March 2015, the first Singapore patent was granted protection and recognised in Cambodia. Described as a landmark application in a press release issued by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (the “IPOS”) on 10 March 2015, the application was based on a positive report by theIPOS’ Search & Examination Unit and marks Cambodia’s first-ever granted patent.

Recognition of the first Singapore patent in Cambodia follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (the “MOU”) on 20 January 2015 between the IPOS and Cambodia’s Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts. The MOU aims to make protection of intellectual property (“IP”) more accessible to businesses and creators with closer tie-ups between the IP regimes of the two countries. Prospective companies will be able to access the regional common market more effectively. The MOU complements on-going patent work-sharing programmes like the ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation (ASPEC) to support businesses seeking faster IP protection in the region and is in alignment with the region’s plans for the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.

The successful collaboration also reaffirms Singapore’s search and examination capability as it 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 2015. By way of background, on 25 September 2014, the IPOS was officially appointed to be ASEAN’s first and Asia’s fifth International Authority in Patent Search and Examination, specifically as an ISA and IPEA.

Reference materials

The following reference materials are available from the IPOS website www.ipos.gov.sg: