Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trademark protection deemed vital for innovation

Trademark protection deemed vital for innovation

People load a sack of counterfeit North Face products onto a truck after police raided a shop in Siem Reap province last year. Tom Yesberger
People load a sack of counterfeit North Face products onto a truck after police raided a shop in Siem Reap province last year. Tom Yesberger

Trademark protection deemed vital for innovation

Newly appointed Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak issued a shot across the bow yesterday at individuals and companies that infringe on the intellectual property of other firms, warning his ministry was ready to take action against violators.

“Intellectual property plays an important role in promoting trade, especially for small- and medium-size enterprises that have intelligent and innovative products,” he said during an event marking World Intellectual Property Day. “The ministry will crack down on counterfeit products in accordance with the law.”

He said enhancing knowledge of trademark protection was vital for protecting Cambodia’s growing entrepreneurial ambitions.

According to the Commerce Ministry, there are 44,636 active trademarks registered in Cambodia, while another 14,651 have expired. Nearly 8,300 trademarks are pending approval.

Sim Sokheng, director of the ministry’s department for intellectual property, said that a total 6,284 trademark applications were received last year, with nearly 1,500 submitted during the first quarter of 2016, a 10 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

“We have tried to promote intellectual property protection and expect that the level of applications will continue to increase,” he said, adding that Kampot pepper and Kampong Speu palm sugar, as well as Cambodia music, were some of the best-known protected goods.

Bretton Sciaroni, a senior partner with regional law firm Sciaroni and Associates, said that intellectual property protection builds investor confidence, while counterfeit goods undercut brand prestige.

“There are still a lot of problems for enforcing Cambodian and international trademark protection,” he said. “In any market you can find not just counterfeit CDs and DVDs, but also tobacco, alcohol and clothes.”

“If we get trademark protection right, it makes Cambodia more attractive for investors. If we don’t, it will decrease confidence,” he added.

Un Chanboran, sales and marketing director of Kingtel Communications Ltd, a new internet and telecom service provider, said that his company is waiting for trademark approval from ministry.

“Trademark and logo protection is important for our company because we are worried that our market reputation will be damaged by counterfeit uses,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Walmart plans to diversify stock of Cambodia goods

    Walmart Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, on June 22 reiterated recent plans to scale up and greatly diversify its purchases of Cambodian products, according to the labour ministry. This came during a virtual working meeting between Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng and

  • Cambodia detects new Covid cases after 52 days: PM

    After 52 days of zero new Covid-19 cases, Cambodia has now detected new infections, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. In his special audio address to the nation late on June 28, Hun Sen said the new cases were detected on people who had undergone PCR tests

  • Cotton club growing in Battambang

    The global market for “vegan leather” – materials that act as alternatives to traditional leather that can be synthesised from cork, apple peels, cactus, recycled plastic, grape pomace and pineapple leaves, among other things, and supposedly require no chemicals or water to produce – is expected to