On November 25th, all instruments of accession were deposited to the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization by the Cambodian government in preparation to the accession to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. Cambodia’s accession comes into effect on February 25th of 2017. It becomes the 66th contracting party to the Hague Agreement.

The Agreement allows for international protection of registered designs through multiple registrations obtained with one single international application. Just like the Madrid System for International Trademark Registration, this will both allow foreign businesses to obtain industrial design protection in Cambodia, and Cambodian businesses to obtain design protection in the 65 other countries through one single application filed either at their respective national intellectual property office, or at the International of WIPO.

This new accession to an international intellectual property filing system follows Cambodia’s accessions to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in September of this year and to the Madrid Protocol Relating to International Registration of Marks in 2015. Cambodia’s decided steps towards integration of the international intellectual property environment should be welcomed by all. Indeed, they will allow businesses to benefit from protection for their IP portfolios Cambodia in a way which is both simplified and cheaper. In addition, joining these treaties obliges the country’s burgeoning IP system to become harmonized with those of other member states, and to be set to the same standards as those of more settled intellectual property organizations.