Patent Registration in China
Patents in China are granted and administered by the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO). Intellectual property in China may be enforced by administrative authorities or through civil or criminal litigation. China applies a standard of absolute novelty. (An invention is not new if it was published or publicly disclosed anywhere in the world.) The “all elements” rule applies in China – for an article to be an infringement it must contain features identical or equivalent to all elements of the patent claim. Any person can contest a patent’s validity.
An invention possesses industrial applicability if it can be made or used in such a way as to generate effective results. Excluded subject matter is in line with TRIPS, that is scientific discoveries, methods for mental activities, methods for the diagnosis and treatment of disease, animal and plant varieties, and a catch-all for other undesirable inventions. Software is explicitly included as a method for mental activity, however software inventions which produce a technical effect may be patented.
Patent Application in China
What Types of Patents can be registered in China?
There are three types of patents:
– Invention patents (substantive examination)
– Utility model patents (formal examination)
– Design patents (formal examination)
Foreigners, foreign corporations or other foreign organisations without habitual residence or place of business applying for patent in China must appoint an agent to carry out the process.
Approximate Registration Time Table:
The average processing time for patent registration procedure in China is 3 years.
Minimum Filing Requirements:
The applicant (s) details.
Claim: describe the protection scope of the patented technology
Abstract: provide the outline of the key technical aspect of the patent
Specification: provide written details and features of the patented technology
Drawings: illustrate structures or details of the patent
Invention patents – Renewable each year, for up to 20 years.
Utility model patents – Renewable each year, for up to 10 years.
Design patents – Renewable each year, for up to 10 years.
A patent applicant may enjoy the right of priority, in accordance with any agreement entered into between an oversea country and China or an international treaty.