New Validation Agreement Between European Patent Organisation and Cambodia

By: Francesca Giovannini

After the validation agreements signed with Morocco, the Republic of Moldova and Tunisia, on January 23, 2017 the European Patent Organisation, the intergovernmental organisation of which the European Patent Office (EPO) is the executive body, has signed its fourth validation agreement with a non-member state, Cambodia. This is the first validation agreement recognising European patents on the territory of an Asian country. According to the EPO, the agreement should tentatively enter into force on July 1, 2017.

Cambodia intends to exclude, at least for a transitional period, pharmaceutical products from the agreement. However, for all other inventions, validation in Cambodia will be available for European patent applications filed starting from the date on which the validation agreement enters into force. In particular, on payment of a validation fee, it will be possible to validate European applications (direct or Euro-PCT) and patents in Cambodia, where they will have the same effects as national applications and patents. As for the other three validation agreements, it is expected that the validation procedure will be governed solely by the national law of the validation state. Also, as for the other validation states, the validation fee is expected to be due to the EPO within six months from the date on which the European Patent Bulletin mentions the publication of the European search report for direct European applications, and within 31 months from the date of filing (or the earliest priority date) or six months from the date of publication of the international search report, whichever is the later, for Euro-PCT applications.

A further, distinct fee is expected to be due to the Cambodian patent office within three months from the EPO publication of the mention of grant, as for the other validation states. A translation of at least the claims into the national language should also be required within this deadline. We recall that only a translation of the claims into Arabic or French is due in Morocco, while the translation of the entire specification into Romanian is due in the Republic of Moldova. The validation agreement concluded with Tunisia is not entered into force yet.

Any additional relevant information will follow once the official date of entry into force of the validation agreement with Cambodia is communicated by the EPO.