Local and international companies registered 7,997 trademarks with the Ministry of Commerce 2020, up 30 per cent over the previous year, the ministry reported.

The ministry said it mediated 23 cases of infringement and dissolved 37 trademarks during the year.

Ministry spokesman Pen Sovicheat told The Post that trademark registration offers protection for appellations of origin linked to specific geographical locations and associated qualities, reputations and characteristics, especially those designated as Geographical Indications (GI).

"GI trademark registration is an important tool to encourage the community to produce high-quality GI products by strengthening and expanding production chains, improving systematic quality control, and leading to more exports abroad," he said.

The report revealed that the ministry is also working on the domestic GI registration of Kampot salt and “fleur de sel” (flower of salt).

“Fleur de sel” is a type of salt mainly associated with the northern coast France that forms as a delicate, flaky crust on the surface of seawater.

The ministry is also determined to promote the current GI products such as Kampot pepper, Kampong Speu palm sugar and pomelos grown in Kratie province’s Koh Trong commune, build a reputation around the commodities and foster development of representative associations, the report said.

Earlier this year, the ministry registered a type of rice flakes made in Kampong Thom province’s Sankoa district – located in the western reaches of Kampong Svay district – under the domestic “Ambok Kampong Thom” GI label. The flakes are cooked rice that is fried dry and pounded by mortar and pestle.

The ministry unveiled plans to register other products as collective trademarks, such as “Nom Banh Chok Siem Reap” (a local variety of rice noodle), the silver-copper sculpting typical of Kampong Luong and Koh Chin communes in Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu district, Kampong Chhnang province-style pottery, as well as steamed balut from Sre Ronong commune in Takeo province’s Tram Kak district.

The ministry has also identified items including Khmer silk, Preah Vihear organic milled rice, Pursat oranges, Svay Rieng’s Smach milled Rice, durian from Battambang province’s Samlot district, Pailin longan and Neang Am milled rice as potential GI products.