On 21 September 2017, the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) and Cambodia's Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts (MIH) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Intellectual Property Cooperation between MIH and SIPO.

The MOU is a welcome development for patent owners looking to protect their invention patent in both China and Cambodia.

The key contents of the MOU are:

a. China invention patents in good order can be validated and get patent protection in Cambodia through a direct formality registration.

b. The SIPO shall provide MIH with services in regard to search and assessment of invention patent applications.

c. Both sides shall increase cooperation in regard to human resource development and share experiences in the field of Intellectual Property, and accelerate the negotiation of related procedures.

The collaboration with Cambodia affirms the SIPO’s search and examination capability as a major regional patent office, and also enables patent owners to access the regional market more effectively.

Although the regulation for practice under the MOU has yet to be released, we expect it would be similar to the procedure of validating Singapore patents in Cambodia, i.e. through an exchange of the Singapore application form and Cambodia patent certificate between MIH and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore.