The Cambodian embassy’s trade consul in the US is searching for the owner of products that used the iconic image of Angkor Wat temple on packages of noodles branded “Nam Vang Noodle” and sold in the US.
The search came after the embassy received a report from the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts concerning the products that had used the image without permission.
The noodles with the picture of Angkor Wat and the name Nam Vang – Vietnamese for Phnom Penh – were spotted for sale in a market in the US recently.
Ministry of Commerce spokesman Pen Sovicheat told The Post on August 24 that the search had forced the owner to remove and stop using the image of Angkor Wat on the packaging without authorisation from the government.
“The ministry will continue working with the Cambodian embassy abroad to monitor the situation and ensure that no more violations occur,” he said.
He also asked the private sector and the public to inform the government of any cases violating the country’s national emblem and identity, and intellectual property of Cambodia.
Culture ministry spokesman Long Ponnasirivath told The Post on August 24 that the Apsara National Authority – a body charged with managing the Angkor Archaeological Park – and relevant authorities also investigated the case.
He added that if the commerce ministry learns of any cases of fraud, it will file a complaint with the relevant international organisation dealing with trade and counterfeiting products and the violation of a country’s identity.
He said it was illegal to use intellectual property without permission under the Paris Convention on Unfair Trade Competition.
Dim Theng, deputy head of the General-Directorate of Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression (CCF) said that using a national logo or emblem, such as Angkor Wat temple or any other logo, violates the Consumer Protection Law.
He said such a product made or sold in Cambodia would break the law and would be confiscated.
But if the product is sold in another country, such as the US, the Cambodian embassy has to write a diplomatic note to the country’s foreign ministry to have the label changed according to the law.
This is the second case of the image of Angkor Wat being used on foreign products.
On July 12, the government, through the embassy of India, stopped rice exporter Voyage India from using Angkor Wat on its products under the name Angkor Wat Thai Hom Mali Jasmine Rice.
The company had used the image on its products without authorisation and sold them online.
The government said this behaviour went against the Law Concerning Marks, Trade Names and Acts of Unfair Competition. It also constitutes a violation of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.