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22nd ASEAN IPA Conference – A Quick Primer

Issued: March 29 2018

Phnom Penh will host the 22nd ASEAN Intellectual Property Association Annual Meeting & Conference in April.

April 2018 marks the 22nd ASEAN Intellectual Property Association Annual Meeting & Conference, with this year’s theme centering on the challenges posed by the 21st century. The meeting will take place April 6 and 7 in Phnom Penh.

The ASEAN IPA was officially established on December 1, 1996, and granted official NGO status by the ASEAN Secretariat in 1998. Comprising of individuals and organization members concerned with intellectual property in ASEAN countries, the ASEAN IPA aims to foster mutual friendship, cooperation and understanding to promote the development and protection of intellectual property in the region.

“The Cambodian ASEAN IPA group has been trying our best to make this event happen to show that we are a part of the IP community and as well as the ASEAN community, and that we all are united and will walk to the prosperous future together,” says Khieu Mealy, a partner at Sok Siphana & Associates (a member of ZICO Law) and conference liaison officer.

Mealy recalls her anxiety at undertaking this significant role when ASEAN IPA president Aleli Angela G Quirino asked her at last year’s meeting in Manila to host the meeting for Cambodia. “But with the commitment to help of other countries’ members, we made it,” she says proudly.

Speakers at the meeting will address different aspects of the 21st century’s impacts, including technological, economical, regional and global challenges to inform IP practitioners of the latest trends and strategies in the face of changing currents.

“We should recognize that investment, especially in the technology sector, is a key driver of economic growth. In the context of promoting economic growth, intellectual property right protection is key,” says Hem Hournaryth, Cambodia country head of the ASEAN IPA and principal partner at BNG Legal in Phnom Penh.

Quirino also offers her thoughts ahead of the conference. “Our Cambodian colleagues and friends likewise face the challenge of providing us with a meaningful and productive conference, showing to the entire IP community that they – as well as the ASEAN community – are united and ready to move ahead into the future.”

Apart from hosting the ASEAN IPA conference, Cambodia has seen some recent updates in the IP scene. On March 9, 2018, Cambodia became the first country to join the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications. The Geneva Act provides through the World Intellectual Property Organization a system for a single application and set of fees for registering appellations of origin or geographical indications across multiple jurisdictions. The Act will come into force with four additional parties.

The validation agreement between China’s State Intellectual Property Office and Cambodia will also boast protection of invention patents in the kingdom. “The agreement will take effect on March 28. It will help us attract more Chinese investors into the kingdom,” said Phe Chantravuth, director of the department of industrial property at the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft.


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