Validation of European Patent in Cambodia

shutterstock_166598477Good news for the European SMEs wishing to do business in Cambodia, it’s now possible to validate European patents in Cambodia. Today’s blog post on validation of European patent in Cambodia has been kindly drafted for us by our external IPR expert Dr. Phin Sovath from Bun & Associates. In this blog post, Dr. Phin further explains the Agreement on Validation of European Patent between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the European Patent Office.


On 1st March 2018, the Agreement on Validation of European Patent (the “Validation Agreement”) enters into force in Cambodia. Henceforth, it is possible to request for validation of the European patent in Cambodia and thus obtain the same protection as national patent granted by the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (the “MIH”).

In January 2017, the Royal Government of Cambodia and the EPO entered into Agreement on Validation of European Patent. In November 2017, the law on ratification of the Validation Agreement was promulgated. And from 1st March 2018 onward, the European patent holder may request for its validation in Cambodia through a simplified and accelerated procedure set forth in the Prakas No. 282 MIH/2017 dated 08 December 2017 of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (the “Prakas No.282 MIH/2017”).

In accordance with Prakas No. 282 MIH/2017, the validation procedure is applicable to both European patent and European patent application which refers to either the patent application filed with the EPO under the framework of the European Patent Convention (the “EPC”) or the international application for patent registration filed under the framework of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (the “PCT”) having designation of both the EPO and Cambodia. Moreover, the eligible European patent and European patent application will have a filing date on or after the date of entry into force of the Validation Agreement in Cambodia, i.e. 1st March 2018. Continue reading “Validation of European Patent in Cambodia” »

Design Rights Protection in South-East Asia

shutterstock_385731427In today’s blog post, we are discussing the protection of design rights in South-East Asia. You’ll learn how to protect the aesthetic aspects of your products or how to protect some aspects of your product packaging. The article also gives an overview on how to enforce your rights once an infringement has occurred.

It is essential for SMEs doing business in South-East Asia to protect their intellectual property rights, as poor IP strategy often leads to the end of business endeavor in the region. Design rights are useful, but oftentimes overlooked means of protecting IP in South-East Asia.

An industrial design right, also known as a design patent in certain jurisdictions, is an exclusive right, which protects designs which give a competitive edge to the owner over competitors due to their aesthetic appeal. Industrial designs can take the form of either two- or three-dimensional shapes, configuration or patterns. Prominent examples include the iPod, shape of the Coca Cola bottle, computer icons, and even the design of mobile applications.

To obtain industrial design protection, SMEs must file an application to register the design in all the countries they foresee business activities, since design rights like other IP rights are territorial. Like patents, protection for industrial rights lasts for a limited period and the duration can vary from country to country. Generally, protection lasts for at least 10 years. Continue reading “Design Rights Protection in South-East Asia” »

Marking Your Territory: Choosing a Trade Mark in China

trademarkChoosing a Chinese equivalent for your brand name can oftentimes be a challenging task.  In today’s blog post we’re taking a closer look at what you need to know when choosing your trade mark in China.  We are using the famous New Balance case to offer some tips on how to choose a good trade mark in China. 

In one of the most famous trade mark infringement case, New Balance Trading (China) – the Chinese affiliate of US sports footwear brand, New Balance – was ordered by a Guangzhou court to pay RMB98 million in compensation (equivalent to approximately EUR14.3 million), and to publicly apologise to Chinese businessman, Mr Yuelin Zhou, for trademark infringement. The trade mark in question was “新百伦”, or “Xin Bai Lun”, a Chinese transliteration of “New Balance”. This case serves as a sharp reminder of how vital it is for foreign brands to register a Chinese trade mark in China, and how cutting corners may result in high financial penalties later down the line. This article takes a look at how to best choose a Chiniese name for your brand when doing business in China.

Chinese consumer culture: why choose a Chinese name?

China possesses one third of the world’s consumers and is the largest market for luxury goods in the world. Between 2010 and 2014, European Union (EU) imports to China grew by around 12% on average annually.

Taking time to carefully consider a Chinese trade mark when importing a brand to China is important for several reasons. Firstly, because foreign brands or company names are often difficult to pronounce – or carry different meanings – in Chinese. If a company fails to provide its own Chinese name or trade mark, Chinese consumers will choose their own. Secondly, in a country where each character holds its own distinctive meaning, the characters used in a foreign branded trade mark, along with the sound, tone and look of Chinese characters, can significantly impact a brand’s reputation. Continue reading “Marking Your Territory: Choosing a Trade Mark in China” »

Practical tips for protecting your IP in China and South-East Asia

dreamstime_m_24720610Protecting your IP is extremely important when doing business in China or in South-East Asia, as inadequate IP strategy can often lead to the end of your business endeavor in both regions,  since counterfeiting and other IP violations are still commonplace in China and South-East Asia. In today’s blog post you can find some practical tips for protecting your IP in China and in South-East Asia,  allowing you to draft a sound IP strategy for both regions.

China and the majority of South-East Asian countries have recently shown considerable efforts in creating stronger intellectual property rights (IPR) protection systems and in bringing their existing intellectual property laws in line with, or closer to, international standards. However, counterfeiting, trade mark infringements and other IPR infringements remain one of the major issues both in China and in the South-East Asian region. When European SMEs enter these markets, there are some key points they need to look out for in order to ensure their IPR is effectively protected.

IP Laws are territorial, register your IP

European SMEs should be aware that IP laws are territorial (and this applies in both South-East Asia and China), meaning that IPR are only enforceable upon valid domestic registration. SMEs planning to enter the South-East Asian and Chinese markets are faced with the question of when to register their trade mark, patents or designs. The answer is as soon as a company considers internationalizing its sales and activities, they should take steps to register their trade marks and other IP in the countries of destination. Obtaining the relevant information and taking advance action is the key to effective protection. Continue reading “Practical tips for protecting your IP in China and South-East Asia” »

IP Protection Strategies in China for Start-ups

growthIn today’s blog post we are taking a closer look at how start-ups, planning to set up their activities in China or have their products produced in China,  could best protect their IP rights. You will learn more about the importance of patent protection and trade mark protection and why these types of IP are essential for the start-ups.

For small start-ups the prospect of where to even start with an IP strategy can oftentimes be a daunting task as other concerns like building a good team, structuring the company, attracting investment and developing the product tend to take up all the time and attention of the business owners. At the same time, a robust IP Strategy is crucial for business’ success when planning to enter the lucrative market of China. Besides helping the start-ups to protect their innovations from competitors, IP assets can also be a significant pull-factor when attracting investors.

Protect your inventions with patents

Patent protection in extremely important for start-ups as patents protect innovations, limit competition and help to defend against claims of infringement by other companies producing similar products. Furthermore, patents can attract investors, which is fundamental for start-ups. Thus it is important to apply for patent protection in China when planning to enter its market. Continue reading “IP Protection Strategies in China for Start-ups” »