Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak on Tuesday called on the Secretariat of National Committee for Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) to work harder to boost the national intellectual property (IP) system with special consideration to international business integration.

The proposal was made during the 10th NCIPR meeting.

Sorasak said relevant institutions must strengthen the system and bring it compliance with international IP standards and ease the Kingdom’s ever-deepening integration into the global business and economic systems.

This, he stressed, must be in line with Intellectual Property Rights Work Plan 2021-2023 and National Intellectual Property Strategic Plan 2021-2026.

“I would like to praise the close and excellent cooperation seen thus far between the relevant ministries and institutions that comprise the membership of the NCIPR in strengthening and promoting the IP sector in Cambodia,” Sorasak said.

He highlighted IP registration as a success story for the ministry in 2019-2020, with emphasis on the geographical indication (GI) designation and collective trademarks.

Other ministerial achievements in the field during the period include – entry into international conventions and treaties, work on laws and regulation, signing memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with major international IP entities, project implementation with national and international development partners, public awareness campaigns and dissemination of the law, according to Sorasak.

Since January 1, 2019, authorities have cracked down on 28 IP infringement cases involving $512,800, which plays a significant role in improving the livelihoods of Cambodians and reeling in more foreign investors, he said.

Op Rady, director of the ministry’s Department of Intellectual Property Rights, previously told The Post that local investors were becoming increasingly aware of IP law.

“Proper registration of trademarks will help to prevent conflicts and protect the original rights holder as it guarantees free and fair competition,” he said.

Cambodia joined the Madrid Protocol in March 2015, with the agreement coming into force in June that year.

Under the Madrid Protocol, trademarks registered by Cambodian businesses are recognised by all of the treaty’s 98 members, covering 114 countries.

Trademark registrations reached 3,841 in the first 11 months of last year, rising 2.13 from 3,761 in the same period in 2018, the ministry’s Results Review and Implementation Plan for 2020 report said.

Some 1,445 local companies and 2,396 international firms registered for trademarks, a breakdown of the data showed.

In the period from January-November last year, the ministry received 5,845 applications from trademarks from both domestic and international companies, up 10.95 per cent from 5,268 in January-November 2018, the report said.