1 March 2018 – Validation of European patents in Cambodia (KH) with effect from 1 March 2018


The President of the EPO and the Cambodian Minister of Industry and Handcraft signed an agreement on the validation of European patents in Cambodia.

The validation agreement entered into force on 1 March 2018. From that date it is possible to validate European patent applications and patents in Cambodia, where, after validation, they will confer essentially the same protection as patents granted by the EPO for the now 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation.


However, under the Law on Patents currently in force in Cambodia, pharmaceutical products are excluded from patent protection. In fact, Cambodia currently benefits from the WTO waiver allowing Least Developed Countries to avoid granting and enforcing IP rights on pharmaceutical products until 1 January 2033. This waiver will also apply to European patents providing protection for pharmaceutical products for which validation is sought in Cambodia.

In this case, applicants can only benefit under Article 70.8 TRIPS of a so-called “mailbox system” for national patent applications for pharmaceutical products. According to this “mailbox system”, Cambodian legislation authorises the filing of national patent applications for pharmaceutical products, despite the fact that they are excluded from patent protection. These national applications will not be examined as to their patentability until the end of the WTO waiver period. Following that period, protection may be granted for the remainder of the patent term, computed from the filing date of the application.


Validation in Cambodia is deemed requested for any European or international application filed on or after 1 March 2018. It is not available for applications filed prior to that date, or for any European patents resulting from such applications.

The validation fee is EUR 180. It must be paid to the EPO within six months of the date on which the European Patent Bulletin mentions the publication of the European search report, or, where applicable, within the period for performing the acts required for an international application’s entry into the European regional phase.

After expiry of the relevant basic time limit, the validation fee can still be validly paid within a two-month grace period, provided that within that period a surcharge of 50% is also paid. If the designation fee has not been paid and further processing is available, the validation fee can still be paid along with the further processing fee concerning the designation fee. If the validation fee is not paid in due time, the request for validation is deemed withdrawn.

A validation fee which has been validly paid is never refunded, including the case where a validation fee has been paid for an application falling within the purview of the exception for pharmaceutical products.

see EPO Communication