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SMEs to benefit from trademark protocol

A worker prepares snacks at the Ly Ly Food Industry Company factory in Phnom Penh. Cambodian-based companies like LyLy that export to the US and Myanmar are expected to benefit from the Madrid protocol.
A worker prepares snacks at the Ly Ly Food Industry Company factory in Phnom Penh. Cambodian-based companies like LyLy that export to the US and Myanmar are expected to benefit from the Madrid protocol. Vireak Mai

SMEs to benefit from trademark protocol

From mid-June, companies with a production base in Cambodia that want to protect their product’s trademark overseas will be able to register in the Kingdom, rather than having to register their product in individual countries abroad.

Cambodia joined an international system of trademarks, known as the Madrid Protocol, in March and official use of the scheme comes into force in June, senior government officials said yesterday.

Once enforced, the protocol will allow Cambodian companies to protect their products in 110 foreign countries by registering their trademark with the Ministry of Commerce.

Prior to the protocol coming into play, local firms would need to register their trademark in individual jurisdictions in order to receive the protection of their products in that particular country.

Talking to reporters yesterday, Ouk Prachea, secretary of state of the Ministry of Commerce, said the move would benefit small and medium-size enterprises.

“Once we join the member of Madrid Protocol, we hope that number of trademark registrations will increase significantly,” he said.

The system becomes increasingly important with the upcoming ASEAN integration where there would be greater opportunity for Cambodian-made products will be exported, Prachea added.

The new protocol would bring down the cost of trademark registration for those looking to ship their goods around the region, Prachea said.

Currently there are about 62,000 trademarks registered at the Ministry of Commerce, officials said yesterday.

Some 1,000 new trademarks are expected to be registered annually.

Each one costs $102 to register and is in place for a 10- year period.

The new system is also expected to reduce the time it takes for a trademark registration to be processed.

Keo Mom, owner of Ly Ly Food Company, whose products are now sold in Myanmar and the United States, welcomed Cambodia’s entry into the new scheme.

“It is good and I hope it will be the encourage us to continue strengthening our export’s capacity,” she said.

“Through this new system, we hope the market will better know our products,” Mom added.

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