Cambodia Warns to Take Action Against the Company Selling Noodle with Angkor Wat Logo

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Cambodia says using an image of Angkor Wat without consent a violation of the law 

PHNOM PENH--The Embassy of Cambodia in the United States has warned the company using an image of the Angkor Wat monument on its noodle packaging in the United States to immediately stop doing so.

“The use of words and image of Angkor Wat temple without the permission of the Cambodian authorities is a violation of Cambodian laws, international agreements and treaties,” the embassy said in a press release on Aug. 26.  “Especially the use of the word Phnom Penh Noodles [written in Vietnamese language] has led many consumers to misunderstand the origins of the packaged noodles.”

This move came after the Cambodian authorities became aware that a company was selling noodles on the US market under the Vietnamese name Nam Vang Noodle with an image of Angkor Wat printed on the bags.

In its press release, the Cambodian Embassy said that the Vietnamese name used on the packaging actually means “Phnom Penh Noodle Product”—Nam Vang refers to the Cambodian capital in Vietnamese language. The noodle product has been distributed in Asian markets on the East Coast of the United States.

The Cambodian embassy said that using those words and an image of Angkor Wat without permission from Cambodia is a violation of the law and has also led to confusion regarding the origin of the product. “[T]he use of the word Phnom Penh Noodles [in Vietnamese language] has led many consumers to misunderstand the origin of the packaged noodles.”

The embassy said in the press release that it had issued gone to the company’s website and issued a warning that legal action would be taken if the company does not take action to remedy the situation.

“The embassy has…assigned a diplomatic trade attaché to notify the company that imports such product,” the press release read. “[The embassy] has issued an official notice to the company to stop importing or selling such products. The embassy will take further action if the company refuses to comply with the notice.”

Long Ponnasirivath, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts spokesman, said that images of monuments such as the Eiffel tower are sometimes used as souvenirs. But if talking about trade, it is wrong to use a feature that is the identity of a country as if it was one’s product, and we have the right to sue.

The Cambodian embassy calls on Cambodian citizens and students residing in the United States to stop purchasing this noodle product. The embassy advises all citizens and students to report the information to the embassy in order to prevent counterfeit products from circulating in markers.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation also found in July 2021 that an Indian business was utilizing the name and picture of Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple without permission on its rice package.

"Angkor Wat Thai Horn Mali Jasmine Rice" is a product of Voyage India, which is based in Maharashtra, India.

Additional reporting by Teng Yalirozy

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