LAW UPDATE: 13 September 2023


We are excited to bring you the latest developments in Cambodia’s trademark practice that could have a significant impact on trademark holders. In this article, we will explore two key changes introduced by the Ministry of Commerce in August 2023, providing valuable insights and guidance to navigate these changes effectively.

1. Ministry of Commerce’s New Policy on Affidavit of Use/Non-Use

On 11 August 2023, the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia issued Announcement No. 2652, marking a pivotal shift in trademark registration practices. This announcement emphasizes the critical importance of submitting the Affidavit of Use/Non-use on time, as failure to do so could lead to the removal of a trademark registration from the registry.

Previously, there was some flexibility, allowing for late submissions until the renewal stage. However, this update signifies a proactive shift in policy, potentially resulting in registration removal if a registrant fails to submit the Affidavit of Use or Affidavit of Non-use by the specified deadline.

Compliance with the official deadline for submission is paramount to avoid adverse consequences. Trademark registrations in Cambodia remain valid for ten years following the filing date and are renewable every ten years. Additionally, an Affidavit of Use or Affidavit of Non-use must be submitted within one year following the fifth anniversary of the registration date and within one year following the fifth anniversary of each subsequent renewal term.

Here are the key points to note:

  • Late submissions are still being accepted, but it’s essential to understand that this leniency may not be a permanent feature.
  • The announcement does not explicitly indicate any retrospective effect on registrations with missed due dates for Affidavit of Use/Non-use submissions. Nevertheless, as a proactive measure, we strongly recommend that registrants in such cases promptly make their submissions.
  • While trademark practitioners anticipate that the Department of Intellectual Property Rights (DIPR) might introduce a grace period subject to late fees for registrations with missed due dates, this notion remains unconfirmed.

2. Multi-Class Application Requirement

Another significant change introduced by the Ministry of Commerce is outlined in Announcement No. 2501, dated 1 August 2023. It is now mandatory to submit a multi-class application when applying for trademark registration across multiple classes.

Previously, applicants had the option to file single-class applications for the same trademark in different classes. However, this new requirement standardizes the application process, making it obligatory to file a multi-class application in such cases.

In conclusion, these recent changes in Cambodia’s trademark practice necessitate careful attention and compliance from trademark owners. We will continue to monitor any further developments and provide updates as necessary to assist you in navigating the evolving trademark landscape in Cambodia. If you have any questions or require further guidance, please do not hesitate to contact our team of trademark experts.