CIVIL IPR ENFORCEMENT IN CAMBODIA
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Civil IPR enforcement can be initiated by the enforcement section of the Intellectual Property Department of the Ministry of Commerce and enforcement unit of the Industrial property Department of the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy. These sections will ex-officially act and act on the complain\ of right-holders.
1. Competent Courts
Court (Municipal/Provincial Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court) is the highest body in solving disputes on intellectual property. In the future, the Commercial Tribunal or Commercial Chamber under the present court system, once it has been created, will replace the Municipal /Provincial Court to handle all the intellectual property disputes. Cambodian Courts (including Municipal or Provincial Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court) is the final decision-making body in solving disputes on intellectual property right. Once the Commercial Court has been created, this court will replace the previous institutions in handling all commercial and intellectual property disputes.
1.1 First instance
Municipal courts and provincial courts are the first instance courts that provide prompt enforcement of Intellectual Property rights upon complaints of the right-holder.
Any decision taken by the Ministry of Commerce may be the subject of an appeal by any interested party before the Courts and such appeal shall be filed within three months of the date of the decision.
Appeal Court and Supreme Court are the last resort for IP enforcement. Both complainant and defendant have rights to appeal to these courts for any unsatisfactory decision of the first instance court on IP case. Decision of Supreme Court is a final and unchallenged decision.
2. Remedies available (compensation, injunctions – preliminary and final)
Both preliminary and final injunction can be obtained in the court (first instance court) by right-holder to prevent the lost of interests caused by the importation and/or infiltration of alleged infringing goods into commercial channel. Injunction can be done through Provisional and Border Measures as stipulated in Chapter 9 and 10 of Law on Marks, Trade Name and Act of Unfair Competition, Chapter 08 (Art. 126) of Law on Patent, Utility Model Certificate and Industrial Design, and Chapter 05 (Art. 59) of Law on Copyright and Related Rights.
TM law, Article 27, on the request of the owner of the mark or of a licensee if he has requested the owner of the mark to institute court proceedings for specific relief and the owner of the mark has refused or failed to do so, the court may grant an injunction to prevent infringement, an imminent infringement, or an unlawful act referred to Articles 21, 22, 23, award damages and grant any other remedy provided for in the general law.
TM law, Article 28, on the request of any competent authority or any interested person, association or syndicate; in particular of producers, manufacturers or traders, the court may grant the same relief in case of an act of unfair competition referred to in Articles 22 and 23.
3. Execution of court orders
Court order will be executed by any of the followings enforcement agencies including economic police, customs authority, Camcontrol agents or by a team of those agencies in cooperation with local authority. The request for execution of court order has to be submitted to the Department of justice for the execution by enforcement agencies. This procedure is also applied for the enforcement of IP related case.
3.1. Local Court Orders
Local court is having equal value to the orders of other court levels, if there is no appeal being made against that order.
3.2 Overseas Court Orders
Presently, there is no practice of executing overseas court orders in Cambodia.