Facebooks Community Standards are now available in Khmer language
by Veronika Janouchova •MOBILE, NEWS, SOCIAL MEDIA, TECH
Every day, people use Facebook to share their experiences, connect with friends and family, and build communities. Since the social media should be a place where people feel empowered to communicate, Facebook focuses on keeping abuse off the platform and developed a set of Community Standards that outline what is and is not allowed on Facebook.
These Community Standards are now available in the Khmer language.
So what are they all about?
Facebook Community Standards are based on feedback from the social media community and the advice of experts in fields such as technology, public safety and human rights. They are designed to be inclusive of different views and beliefs, in particular those of people and communities that might otherwise be overlooked or marginalized.
Facebook focuses on five core values that are considered during the development of Community Standards, voice, authenticity, safety, privacy and dignity.
Community standards are being constantly updated according to the changes in online behaviour. Facebooks team focused on content policy is based in over 11 offices around the world, and is made up of experts on diverse topics such as terrorism, hate speech, and child safety. They cover a wide range of policy areas to catch all kinds of harmful content, from bullying and harassment, to graphic violence and credible threats all the way to fake accounts, fraud and impersonation.
To enforce these policies, Facebook uses combination of reports from their community, reviewed by their teams, and technology to identify and review content against the standards.
Anything that is on Facebook can be reported – page, profile, post, photo, comment, and anyone can report content they believe violates the standards. People can also customize and control what they see by unfollowing, blocking and snoozing people, and hiding posts, people or pages.
Facebook relies primarily on artificial intelligence to detect violating content on Facebook and Instagram. Algorithms are getting better all the time at identifying content that violates the Community Standards and automatically take it down before anyone sees it.
95% of the organized hate, firearms, adult nudity and sexual activity, drug sales, suicide and self injury, fake accounts, terrorist propaganda, child nudity and exploitation, and violent and graphic content removed from Facebook is found proactively using technology.
But there are still many cases in which a human reviewer is critical to enforcing the standards fairly and accurately, for example in case of hate speech. The systems can recognize specific words that are commonly used as hate speech, but not the intentions of the people who use them. So people have to review such content.
Around the world, there are over 35, people working in safety and security at Facebook, of which, about 15, are content reviewers. This team reviews content 24/7 and includes native language speakers. The reviewers undergo extensive training when they join and throughout their time working for Facebook. They have different kinds of support including access to wellness and psychological support teams.
To show how Facebook enforces their policies, the company regularly publishes Community Standards Enforcement Reports, which share numbers on the content found violating the Community Standards.
To learn more, you can visit Facebooks Community Standards here.
Prosecutions for online speech continued as the government cracked down on dissenting voices in the political opposition and among the general public. Individuals faced several charges, including defamation and insult of a public official, during the coverage period, and specifically during the COVID pandemic
Authorities arrested and laid charges against CNRP members ahead of Sam Rainsy’s attempted return to Cambodia in November The Ministry of Interior that anyone posting messages of support on social media would be arrested Between September and November , approximately 30 supporters were arrested, charged, and detained Former CNRP provincial council member Thoun Bunthorn and former CNRP provincial secretary Ngin Sophat were arrested in September and accused of plotting the government’s overthrow after voicing support for Rainsy’s return on Facebook Authorities notably read a transcript of a private phone call in the case of two supporters who were charged with incitement, defamation, and violating a Supreme Court order in September (see C5). When it became clear that Rainsy would not return to Cambodia, the government’s arrests of CNRP supporters waned.
Internet users continued to face pretrial detention and convictions for other online activity, as well. In July , youth activist Kong Raiya was arrested and charged with incitement to commit a felony for advertising T-shirts bearing the likeness and quotes of murdered political analyst Kem Ley on Facebook. Raiya also posted the phone number of a taxi driver who could drive people to Phnom Penh to attend a ceremony commemorating Kem Ley's death. Raiya, who was bailed in November , was convicted in June and received a suspended two-year sentence In October , CNRP activist Mai Hongsreang was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment on charges of “incitement” after posting altered pictures of officials on Facebook Also in October , the Phnom Penh Municipal Court found former monk Voeun Kimlon guilty of incitement to commit a felony, sentencing him to 18 months’ imprisonment for uploading videos on YouTube containing purportedly false information about government officials including Hun Sen In May , Facebook user Kim Panha was arrested and placed in pretrial detention until that September, after he was accused of posting content that insulted the king and high-ranking government officials
In early February , as the COVID pandemic took hold worldwide, the Ministry of Health declared that it would take legal action against “false” content on social media Between late January and April , authorities arrested at least 30 individuals, 12 of whom were affiliated with the CNRP, for posting and spreading “fake news” regarding the COVID outbreak online Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that many were held in pretrial detention, while at least one case relied on a private phone call where the participants were discussing the novel coronavirus’s course in Cambodia (see C5). A man was arrested in February after he criticized Hun Sen’s response to COVID on Facebook. He was detained for 48 hours and released after signing a document promising not to undertake such actions again In another example, a year-old girl was arrested and questioned after discussing her fears about possible COVID cases in her area, and particularly in her school, on social media.
After Hun Sen criticized women who sell products online wearing “revealing” clothing in February , a woman selling products online was taken to a police station and was forced to sign a document promising to immediately stop publishing such posts (see B2). Later that month, she was arrested and charged with “producing pornography” after she posted another video online She was convicted in April and was handed a six-month suspended sentence, which was reduced to two-and-a-half months
Throughout this reporting period, journalists across Cambodia continued to be arrested for their online reporting, and some outlets lost their licenses over their reporting (see B2 and B3). In April , Sovann Rithy, founder and editor of online news outlet TVFB, was arrested for incitement to commit a felony for quoting Hun Sen from a speech regarding the economic situation of taxi drivers during the COVID pandemic In May , Sok Udom, owner of the Rithysen radio station, was arrested and charged with incitement to commit a felony after reporting on a land dispute Both men remain in pretrial detention as of July
In June , after the coverage period, Ros Sokhet, publisher of the Khmer Nation newspaper, was arrested for Facebook posts in which he criticized Hun Sen for not effectively helping people struggling to pay debt and claimed that Hun Sen’s oldest son would be the next Cambodian leader The Information Ministry also claimed to be considering the future of the outlet’s license (see B2).
In July , Club of Independent Journalists president Hun Sokha and TN Online publisher Keo Ranta were arrested and later released on bail after reporting on and livestreaming a protest about a land dispute in Sihanouk Ville Similarly, journalist Sat Chanbut was summoned to appear in court that December over charges of defamation and incitement to commit a felony, after he disseminated an interview with indigenous families locked in a land dispute online
In , two RFA reporters were arrested and charged with espionage on allegations that they installed broadcasting equipment in a Phnom Penh guesthouse to secretly send reports to RFA’s headquarters in Washington, DC, after the outlet closed its Cambodia bureau. In December , they were also charged with illegally producing pornography, which led to a reinvestigation of pending espionage charges against them. The reporters attempted to appeal this reinvestigation, but this was subsequently rejected by an appeals court in January
Authorities continue to charge users under the lèse-majesté amendment of to Article of the criminal code. Six charges and three convictions were subsequently made under the new amendment For example, Sam Rainsy was charged with lèse-majesté in September for referring to King Norodom Sihamoni as the prime minister’s puppet in a RFA interview In June , a man was arrested in Phnom Penh for posting messages and images allegedly criticizing the monarch on Facebook. He was later convicted, receiving a 3-year prison sentence and a 5 million riel ($1,) fine from a Phnom Penh court Two other cases ended with prison sentences in one individual was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment for insulting the prime minister in a photograph, and another received a 3-year sentence for insulting the prime minister in a Facebook post
Who We Are
Established in due to the increasing need for the garment industries to stand together with a unified voice, GMAC has become one of the most active and prominent trade associations in the country, representing, promoting and safeguarding the rights and interests of its members. GMAC provides a forum for consultation and discussion among members / stakeholders of common interests and seek for the adoption of sound policies allowing the industry to grow and develop.
GMAC is headed by 25 Executive Committee members consisting of representatives from well-established factories. They are elected every two years during the Association's General Assembly. The elected members are responsible for providing advice on strategy and policy development, while day-to-day operation is carried out by 23 professional secretariat staff.
To support Cambodian government and the industry in the development of human capital.
To provide prompt and crucial information pertaining to the industry.
To collaborate with all stakeholders to pursuit a conducive business environment for the growth and development of Cambodian apparel industry. Embrace corporate social responsibility in management principles so as to develop mutually beneficial relationships and sustainable development.
Inclusive societies and development
Policy and Legislation
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia () provides a legal framework for the rights of young people, including the right to vote and the right to stand as a candidate for election (§34). The macro-level policy framework for youth development in Cambodia includes the Rectangular Strategy III () and the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) adopted in The Industrial Development Policy, (ii) the National Employment Policy, and (iii) the Labor Migration Policy also directly relates to youth.
In , the Cambodian government developed the National Policy on Youth Development (NPYD). The policy calls for a holistic approach across all concerned sectors, “to work together to improve youth’s capacity and provide them with opportunity to develop their potential in education, employment, health and decision making, and participation in development of their families, communities, nation and the world”. The Strategy focuses on twelve strategic areas of action, including education, training and capacity-building, provision of health service, entrepreneurship, youth participation, volunteerism, gender and drugs use. In the framework of the NYDP, the related ministries all work together to support vulnerable youth, namely the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MEYS), the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSAVY), the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MLVT), the Ministry of Health (MOH) as well as the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MoWA). As a way to operationalise the NYDP, the National Youth Development Council (NYDC) was established in to play a coordinating role and implement the NYDP. The draft of the National Youth Action Plan (NYAP) was initiated in However, the Action Plan still falls short when it comes to budgeting and the designed mechanism is not yet operational. NYDP/NYAP needs more systematic mainstreaming into the mandate and the budget process of the different ministries as well as better integration at the sub-national level in order to be translated into actions.
Although Cambodia has made impressive progress in the last few decades in the fight against HIV/AIDS and in promoting effective family planning practices, health is still an urgent issue facing youth today. Social and cultural transformations brought about new risks for the health of Cambodia’s youth. The major challenges are sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues, including STIs and HIV/AIDS (prevalence of percent among youth aged ), unwanted pregnancy, pregnancy-related illnesses, unsafe abortion, mental health problems, accidents and violence. There is still a large knowledge-behaviour gap regarding condom use for HIV prevention, while only 1 percent of young females reported having used condom at last intercourse in
Not all youth are affected in the same way by health risks. Health knowledge and core health indicators show strong disparities across the youth population, based on ethnicity, geographical location, gender, and marital and socio-economic status. For instance, according to CDHS data, male youth aged were less exposed to STIs ( percent) than their female counterparts (5 percent) in In the same way, the adolescent birth rate was three times higher in rural than in urban areas in
Youth are also exposed to negative lifestyle factors associated with serious diseases such as tobacco use ( percent of youth aged ) and alcohol consumption ( percent of youth aged ). The level of alcohol consumption among Cambodians aged is among the highest in ASEAN, while about 42 percent of males aged 15 to 19 are current drinkers (27 percent for the females). Illicit drug use is also an issue: according to the National Authority for Combating drugs, 60 percent of drug users were aged between 18 and 25 in
On the way towards universal primary education, Cambodia has made good progress over the past fifteen years. In , the net enrolment rate in primary school was percent, the primary school completion rate was percent and the literacy rate of people aged years was 91 percent. However, many young people drop out of school and access to secondary education shows high inequalities across gender, location and socio-economic groups, with a total secondary net enrolment rate of only percent in The drop-out rate gets high when it comes to secondary education, reaching 21 percent in lower secondary in Although rural and poorest youth had an improved opportunity to enter higher grades, their rate of school enrolment is still low compared with urban and richest youth. Even though higher education remains far beyond the reach of most rural and female youth, the gross enrolment rate in tertiary education among youth aged between 18 and 22 improved significantly over the last 10 years from to 20 percent, including for the poorest households (from to percent) and for women ( to percent).
Both access and quality of education pose crucial issues and indicate a need for more relevant school curricula, sufficiently trained teachers, and more resources for school improvements. In this context, the Cambodian government established the Education Strategic Plan () to ensure equitable access for all to education services, enhance the quality and relevance of learning and ensure effective leadership and management of education staff at all levels. According to the World Bank, Cambodia spent percent of its GDP in on education provision. Increased focus on access to secondary schools, school retention, and vocational training can provide Cambodia’s youth with a greater prospect for their future.
As youth aged year-old comprise around 43 percent of the working age population in Cambodia, the labour force is still characterised by low education and skills. Decent work is difficult to find for young people, due to the dominance of the informal sector in the labour market. Although youth informal employment has declined over the last decade, 41 percent of youth were employed informally in , mainly in agriculture. In addition, almost three-fourths of employed youth are underemployed, with a higher proportion of poor youth.
Despite much higher growth rates in modern urban industries like garment manufacturing, tourism or construction sector, more than two-thirds of the young people are still working in the agriculture sector. Nevertheless, this pattern is changing: increased labour demand in urban sectors, lack of employment opportunities in rural areas and poor returns from agricultural production accelerate rural-to-urban labour migration. Thus, youth employment tends to shift from agriculture to service and industry. As a result, the , young Cambodians, who are entering the labour market annually now face higher unemployment rates in urban than in rural areas. Similarly, the trend in wage employment is upward and it now makes up of 59 percent of total youth employment, most youth in waged work being employed in industry (53 percent).
Youth find it hard to integrate into the labour market due to limited education and training, the lack of job-search abilities and of proper links between education and the labour market. Due to the mismatch between education outcomes and labour needs and the inability of the economy to absorb the growing labour force, Cambodia is likely to suffer from high youth unemployment in the near future. Although youth in neither employment nor education or training (NEET) fell from percent in to percent in , many youth are still economically inactive because of not having social capital, health problems or poor qualifications. Youth in agricultural households or in the poorest quintiles make up the largest share of the NEET youth, while females were around 83 percent of the NEET youth in In this context, increased attention towards skills development, decent work opportunities and sustainable growth can enable a suitable labour market environment for youth, and reduce their vulnerability to hazardous working conditions.
Youth are becoming more informed and engaged in civic and political activities, especially through the rapid penetration of social media. In , about 40 percent of Cambodians had access to the internet and/or Facebook. Cambodia’s youth participates actively in community-oriented activities. Many youth-focused NGOs provide programmes and services related to education, civic engagement and citizenship: as of late , there were 35 active and registered youth NGOs working in Cambodia, the most prominent one being the Union of Youth Federation of Cambodia (UYFC). Additionally, youth wings of the main political parties foster participation through media campaigns, lobbying and demonstrations.
However, the inclusiveness of such participation is still limited. Besides expressing their voices through social media, a majority of youth, especially those living in rural areas and migrant workers in other countries, are still left out from the initiatives organised by political parties and NGOs. Lack of trust in communities, political agendas and the justice system is still a problem for their participation in development activities. Furthermore, due to the legacy of war, youth are cautious about participating in political activities. Civic engagement and political involvement are widely associated with risks, which leads to a lack of support and encouragement from parents and communities. Thus, youth voices are hardly reflected in the country’s policies and programmes, neither at the local nor at the national level. The response from the government is still partial, fragmented and politicised. The main barrier towards meaningful participation is a lack of recognition of youth, caused by an age and knowledge hierarchy within the society. However, because youth are a large constituency, politicians try to formulate policies that support their needs: the most important instance of youth participation in public sphere was when they cast their vote in election, which sent a strong message to the ruling party that they cannot be ignored.
Cambodia’s youth is particularly exposed to vulnerabilities, primarily in the context of poverty, physical and mental weaknesses, violence and abuse, and migration. In terms of poverty and social exclusion, 36 percent of young Cambodians live below the poverty line. Being exposed to a wide range of physical and mental health problems, lack of access to basic needs, isolation and dangers like sexual exploitation, street children, orphans and young migrants are among the most vulnerable groups. Rural-to-urban and cross-border migration in search of economic opportunities is common among young Cambodians. Overall, the young population is estimated to experience more violence and abuse than any other age group, especially in terms of domestic and gender-based violence. Female youth are the most vulnerable to violence: according to CDHS, 29 percent of the interviewed females aged were exposed to physical or sexual violence by their intimate partner in
Khmer Youth Association () : www.kya-cambodia.org
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports () National Policy on Youth Development. (Phnom Penh: Cambodia)
National Authority for Combating Drugs () Annual Report on the Control of Drugs (Phnom Penh : Cambodia)
National Policy on Youth Development (). Kingdom of Cambodia. Nation Religion King.
NDI () Report on the Voter Registry Audi (VRA) in Cambodia National Democratic Institute (Phnom Penh: Cambodia).
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia (). Phnom Penh. Kingdom of Cambodia. Nation Religion King.
UN (): Cambodia Human Development Report. Children and Employment.
UN (): Situation Analysis of Youth in Cambodia. Phnom Penh. Cambodia.
UN (): Youth - Common Advocacy Points
UNDP () Youth Civic Participation in Cambodia: Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, and Media. United Nations Development Programme (Phnom Penh: Cambodia)
UNDP. Human Capital Implications of Future Economic Growth in Cambodia: Elements of a Suggested Roadmap. United Nation Development Program and Supreme National Economic Council (Phnom Penh: Cambodia)
WHO () Health Statistics and Information Systems - Retrieved in , November 27 from http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/estimates/en/index1.html
World Bank () Reproductive Health at a Glance – Cambodia
Youth Council of Cambodia () : www.ycc.org.kh/
Youth Policy Fact Sheet () : www.youthpolicy.org/factsheets/country/cambodia/
Youth Start Cambodia () : www.youthstarcambodia.org
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2015 khmer facebook
(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government’s new National Internet Gateway will enable the government to increase online surveillance, censorship, and control of the internet that will seriously infringe on rights to free expression and privacy, Human Rights Watch said today.
On February 16, , Prime Minister Hun Sen signed the sub-decree on the Establishment of the National Internet Gateway. The sub-decree requires all internet traffic in Cambodia to be routed through a regulatory body charged with monitoring online activity before it reaches users. It would allow for “blocking and disconnecting [of] all network connections that affect safety, national revenue, social order, dignity, culture, tradition and customs.” The grounds for action are both overbroad and not defined, permitting arbitrary and abusive application of blocking and disconnecting powers.
“Prime Minister Hun Sen struck a dangerous blow against internet freedom and e-commerce in Cambodia by expanding the government’s control over the country’s internet,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “Foreign governments, tech companies, e-commerce businesses, and other private actors should urgently call on the government to reverse the adoption of this harmful sub-decree.”
The sub-decree requires internet service providers in Cambodia to reroute their services through the National Internet Gateway within the next 12 months, before February
The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications proposed a sub-decree on July 8, , and sent it to the Council of Ministers for adoption. Foreign governments, global technology and social media companies, the Asia Internet Coalition, and human rights and internet freedom groups, all raised serious concerns about the draft on both human rights and commercial grounds, but the Cambodian government ignored these entreaties.
The sub-decree’s final text failed to address important criticisms of earlier drafts, Human Rights Watch said. The only notable change the Council of Ministers made added an appeals procedure for penalties imposed under the system, but this does not involve independent bodies or arbiters.
The gateway may have a chilling effect on online communications and generate self-censorship online among critical voices and independent media outlets who fear harassment, arbitrary administrative penalties, or even arrest and prosecution, Human Rights watch said.
The sub-decree poses risks to data protection and data confidentiality, requiring selected gateway operators to retain and share personal data. In the absence of a data protection law in Cambodia that would protect internet users from misuse of data and provide certainty about where and how long data is retained, and who has access to it, the National Internet Gateway will facilitate the authorities’ ability to identify users’ internet activities and habits, ultimately risking identifying the users themselves.
Mandatory third-party data retention also fails to meet international human rights standards on the right to privacy. Such data retention measures are neither necessary nor proportionate, are particularly prone to abuse, and often may circumvent key procedural safeguards.
“Cambodia’s National Internet Gateway is the missing tool in the government’s toolbox for online repression,” Robertson said. “It’s no coincidence that after shutting down critical media across the country, the Hun Sen government has now turned its attention to online critics, just in time for the nationally organized commune elections due in ”
The sub-decree sets out punitive and disproportionate penalties that the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia can impose if gateway operators, telecommunication operators, or internet service providers (ISPs) don’t comply with the requirements, including open-ended authority to take “any actions deemed necessary.” The threat of penalties may compel gateway operators to comply with requests by the authorities even if contrary to international human rights standards.
The sub-decree fails to provide for any independent oversight, due process, or procedural safeguards, denying affected people or entities the right to appeal decisions made by the government before an independent body. While it provides for appeals to the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications and through the courts, the reality is that Cambodia’s judicial system lacks independence and there is no recourse to independent supervisory or judicial bodies.
The Cambodian government is also working on other draft laws that will further restrict internet freedom and digital rights. In August , the third draft of a cybercrime bill was leaked, which would grant the authorities further legal powers to increase surveillance of internet users, and restrict privacy rights, and free speech online. The legislative process has purposefully excluded civil society groups and other affected stakeholders. Previous drafts of the bill were sharply criticized for restricting the rights to privacy and free expression, but apparently few improvements have been made.
The government has already adopted several other repressive laws that allow the authorities to control information and communications technologies.
The Telecommunications Law permits undeclared monitoring of “any private speech via telecommunications” by the authorities, without any procedural safeguards and judicial oversight.
In May , the Cambodian government adopted the Inter-Ministerial Prakas (proclamation) on Website and Social Media Control, which requires all internet service providers to install surveillance software to monitor content circulated on the internet. The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications is granted the authority to “block or close” all web pages and social media pages containing “illegal [content] … considered as incitement, breaking solidarity, discrimination, create turmoil by will, leading to undermine national security, and public interests and social order.”
These laws on their face violate the Cambodian government’s obligations as a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which safeguards the rights to freedom of expression and information, and the right to privacy.
“Cambodia’s new National Internet Gateway will amplify the government’s ability to block online content and subject independent voices – including media outlets, the political opposition, and civil society groups – to politically motivated restrictions,” Robertson said.
Cambodia Intellectual Property Laws & Regulations Update
While Cambodia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (“WTO”) in September brought with it obligations to implement a number of intellectual property (“IP”) related laws and regulations, the application, registration and enforcement mechanisms, while strengthening year on year, remain relatively nascent in comparison with more developed IP protection regimes in Europe and elsewhere. Recently, Cambodian authorities dealing with patents, copyright, design rights and trademarks, in conjunction with attendees from the European Patent Office and the Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market (“OHIM”), have indicated a pro-active approach to strengthening intellectual property rights (“IPR”) protection in Cambodia. The laws implemented to date in relation to IPR protection include the Law on Trade Marks, Trade Names, and Acts of Unfair Competition () (“Trade Mark Law”); the Law on Patents, Utility Model Certificates and Industrial Designs () (“Patent Law”); the Law on Copyright and Related Rights (); and the Law on Management of Seeds and Breeders’ Rights (). In addition to these laws, the Royal Government of Cambodia has also recently issued sub-decrees and regulations for implementing these laws such as the Sub-Decree on Implementation of the Law on Trade Marks, Trade Names, and Acts of Unfair Competition (); the Prakas on Procedures for Granting Patents and Utility Model Certificates (); and the Prakas on Procedures for Registration of Industrial Designs (). The recently implemented Law on Geographical Indications of Goods () and the number of products granted such protection thus far is yet another indication of Cambodia’s commitment to providing robust protection to IPR holders.
In Cambodia, patent registration is effected by the filing of a patent application to the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (“MIH”) and must consist of the application form, description, claims drawings (if applicable), abstract, information concerning any previous international registrations and evidence of such prior registrations. As in many jurisdictions, an invention is patentable only if it is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable. While official timelines for actions to be performed by the applicant or the patent examiner are stipulated in the Patent Law and applicable regulation, these are generally extendable at the discretion of the MIH. In practice, and while no patents have yet been granted in Cambodia, it will take around 54 months for issuance of a patent from the date of application. The fact that the application forms must be translated into the national language of Cambodia (Khmer) also contributes to this lengthy approval process timeline. During the patent prosecution process, the MIH undertakes two examinations: a formalities examination and a substantive examination. The former is to ensure whether or not the application satisfies the requirements of the Patent Law, while the latter is to ensure that all substantive requirements have been satisfied by the applicant. The patent application must disclose the invention in such a way as to be sufficiently clear and complete for the invention claimed to be carried out by a person skilled in the art, and the description must indicate the best mode known to the applicant for carrying out the invention claimed. Given that Cambodia is a signatory to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property, and, to date, all pending patent applications in Cambodia have claimed priority from a foreign patent (as of there were 75 pending applications), there is arguably great reliance placed on the search and examination reports from the country from which priority is claimed.
While the present patent registration system in Cambodia arguably does not appear to meet international standards, the trade mark system for application, registration and enforcement is much more developed, and has been used extensively. Prior to application, a search is usually undertaken to ascertain whether or not a trademark can be registered before the application is filed (i.e. to determine whether there are any identical or confusingly similar marks and whether the mark is capable of registration). The application for a trademark search must be submitted to the Department of Intellectual Property Rights of the Ministry of Commerce (“DIPR”). Normally, the DIPR will respond in writing stating the result of the search within 50 to 60 working days following receipt of the application. In order to file an application for a trademark search, the applicant must provide a specimen of the trademark, classification and information regarding previous registrations in other jurisdictions, if any.
In summary, once an application has been filed with the DIPR, the trademark will be registered if it satisfies two basic requirements: (i) it must be distinctive, capable of distinguishing the products or services of one person (natural or legal) from those of another; and (ii) it must not fall into and of the categories excluded under Article 4 of the Trade Mark Law (e.g. if the mark is commonly used in the particular field of trade, if it is identical or confusingly similar to an earlier mark, if it is descriptive of the goods/services to which it relates or is contrary to morality, public order or custom).
The regulations and common practices governing the processes of applying for patents, trademarks, copyrights, and the like, are subject to further change and refinement as Cambodia continues to develop its regulatory framework in this area. DFDL will be happy to advise you on the latest status of such laws, regulations and procedures, and to assist you in such matters.
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