IPR Enforcement in Cambodia
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IP enforcement system in Cambodia is presented as a coordinated structure of separated institutions responsible for IP protection. Each department has its own structure and strategy to deal with IP infringement and to settle IP dispute. In accordance with the existing IP law, those institutions initiate their actions ex- officially or upon complaints of the right-holders.
Source of laws
Cambodian intellectual property laws possess various provisions for the purpose of IP enforcement and totally complied with the requirement of TRIPS.
- Law on Marks, Trade Name and Acts of Unfair Competition – (Administrative, Civil and Criminal Procedure).
- Law on Patent, Utility Model Certificate and Industrial Design – (Administrative, Civil and Criminal Procedure).
- Law on Copyright and Related Rights – (Administrative, Civil and Criminal Procedure).
- Draft Civil Code and Civil Procedure – (Civil Judgement and Provisional Measures).
- Draft Customs Code – (Border Measures).
- Law on the Management of Quality and Safety of Products and Services – (Border and Market Enforcement).
- Law on the Management of Pharmaceutical Products (Border and Market Enforcement).
Enforcement Authorities and Agencies
1. Enforcement Section of the Intellectual Property Department plays the role as enforcer of TM law and mediator to settle disputes on trademark matters between the right owner (complainant) and the infringer (defendant). This division legally enforces IPRs through the following initiatives:
- Ex-officio action based on the provisions of the Law on Marks, Trade Names and Acts of Unfair Competition. This initiative is normally implemented in case of there is clear evidence of IPRs violation or infringement such as prohibited activities as mentioned in provisions of the law or case of violation on well-known trademark, and other evidently acts of unfair competition.
- Acts upon request of the complainant – this enforcement action is usually implemented to bring the two parties to negotiate based on the presented evidence available from both sides. This division has no right to give judgment on any party but can only help them to come to term in order to stop and prevent further infringement.
- Acts as the technical advisor and references to the court. This action will be implemented upon request of the judge, if there is a complexity of the case has been faced by the court in term of IP principles or the interpretation of IP law.
2. Customs authority is entrusted with the enforcement of intellectual property at the borders. Its duty is to prevent the import/export/transit of counterfeit goods and pirated copyright goods into/out of Cambodia. Customs protection of IP rights is normally initiated by the application made by the Right-holder or by their own initiatives (ex-officio action) upon prima facie evidence or strong information from the public. The application often accompanied by sufficient information on the products covered by registered mark in question and proof of ownership of rights and the required deposit of collateral for damages in case of the complain is unjustified. In the contrary, if the customs officers act under ex-officio initiatives, they should get all possible information about the products, the usual distribution of product in the country, the information on monitoring and inception of the suspected shipment.
3. Cambodia Import – Export Inspection and Fraud Suppression Department (CAMCONTROL), under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce is entrusted to enforce the Intellectual Property rights in cooperation with the customs and economic police at the borders and in the domestic market. This department is also use its authority to keep track on the movement of goods to identify counterfeiting goods or pirating products by comparing their information with the data provided by Intellectual Property Department.
4. Economic Police is entrusted with the duty to enforce the intellectual property in cooperation with CAMCONTROL in the domestic market. Economic Police is an enforcement agency to provide supports in all enforcement activities.
5. Committee for Suppression of Copyright Infringement – this committee has been established in accordance with the Government Sub-Decree No. 63 dated September 04, 2000 in order to control the infringement of copyright and related right on Movie, video and DVD. Committee for Suppression of Copyright Infringement is an special agency established by Government Sub-Decree to suppress the violation of copyright and circulation of pirated products within domestic market.
6. The three levels of Cambodian Courts – Municipal/provincial Courts, Appeal Court, and Supreme Court. Court has authority to prevent and preserve evidence. Applicable provisional measures include the detention of material evidences, the search for conceal materials, the order to stop an infringement, the confiscation of infringing goods, and temporary seizure of infringed goods.