Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NGOs squabble over sign, trademark infringement

NGOs squabble over sign, trademark infringement

NGOs squabble over sign, trademark infringement

The Kampong Leng district authorities in Kampong Chhnang province on Tuesday ordered the Cambodia Wildlife Forest Fisheries Protection and Conservation Organisation to remove an office signage a day after putting it up.

The authorities said the NGO didn’t have the proper legal paperwork and were putting up the signage based on a letter signed by a former staff member.

The deputy director of the NGO claims to have sought permission. But police were asked by a regional director of the NGO not to allow the group to use the name.

In connection with taking down the sign, Oeur Seng Hong, a Por commune chief in Kampong Leng district, told The Post that on Sunday, 12 staff members from the organisation raised the signage to open their new office.

But after putting the signage up, the Kampong Leng district authorities ordered them to suspend the activity while they waited on a decision.

“I brought together seven people from the organisation and told them to drop a banner to the ground, but those people said they wanted the president of the organisation in Phnom Penh.

“I told them that this is a separate matter and the signage is under the jurisdiction of the local authority,” he said.

Seng Hong was referring to a complaint filed by a regional branch manager of the NGO not to allow the use of the trademark.

But he acknowledged that the organisation has a licence from the Ministry of Interior to operate, which was issued in 2010. However, since its validity is in question, the authorities have called for a halt to putting up any signage in the district.

Seng Hong said the case was brought by Sim Sarath, who is the manager of three branches of the organisation – Kampong Thom, Kampong Chhnang and Battambang.

He accused the 12 employees of not cooperating with him as the regional director of the organisation’s branches.

Kampong Leng district police chief Pal Choeun told The Post that no decision had been made on whether to await comment from the Kampong Chhnang provincial police chief, but the organisation’s trademark was already covered with fabric by the employees.

Khin Thy, the deputy general director of the organisation, told The Post that he has the signature of the commune and Kampong Leng district authority already.

He said he doesn’t know why the hanging of the signage was suspended. He said he appealed to the commune and district authorities of the province.

“The district and commune authorities have already signed for me, but only Kampong Chhnang authorities have asked me to submit again,” he said.

Thy said the Por commune authorities were listening to Sarat, who filed a complaint against the use of his organisation’s label because the branch manager Thy was no longer employed with it.


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