While still relatively small, the number of trademark applications has grown in Cambodia and the country’s low volume means that the Kingdom boasts among the fastest times in Southeast Asia for registering a trademark, a government adviser told a business workshop yesterday.
“In ASEAN countries, they take Cambodia as a model in registering trademarks,” said Var Rothsan, an adviser to the Ministry of Commerce.
“It is not that Cambodia has better technology, it is because Cambodia has fewer applications compared to other countries. We’ve had around 50,000 applicants, they’ve had millions.”
According to Var Rothsan, the time required to register a trademark in Cambodia is from three to four months, compared to the ASEAN average of six to 12 months. In Japan, by comparison, it takes up to a year to register a trademark, while in the US the process usually takes 10 to 18 months.
Rothsan said that although Cambodia is starting from a low base, the number of registered trademarks has grown steadily on the back of economic growth and increased concern over intellectual property protection.
According to the Commerce Ministry, there are 44,488 active trademarks registered in Cambodia and another 14,219 that have expired. Some 4,500 trademarks were registered last year.
“Currently, more than 30 per cent of the trademarks are local firms, most of them for purified drinking water and handicrafts,” Rothsan said.
In Phirun, head of accounting and finance at Brand Trading (Cambodia) Ltd, said after attending the workshop that Cambodia’s trademark registration was merely a reflection of the small size of its market.
“It’s to be expected as Cambodia is small and so it has less applicants than other countries,” he said. “Fast or slow, it depends on size of the country.”
He said the speed of registration was not what concerned investors most.
“The process of registration doesn’t have much impact on investors,” Phirun said.
“The most important factor is the implementation and enforcement to protect a company’s intellectual property rights. It’s still limited here compared to other countries.”