Recently the SIPO (State Intellectual Property Office of the People?s Republic of China) published a draft with modifications to the present Chinese patent law. These changes affect not only businesses who are already investing in the Chinese market, but also companies or inventors who want to apply for a patent. We sum up the most important points.
Modifications Concerning the Application and Examination of IP
- The definition of inventions that can obtain patent protection shall be expanded (procedures for the diagnosis and treatment of farm animals)
- The protection for designs will be improved (among other things, there?s a recommendation to increase the protection period from 10 to 15 years)
- The procedures of patent application and examination and of carrying out nullity proceedings will be enhanced
Responsibility and Administration
The responsibility of governmental and local patent authorities will be narrowed and defined more precisely. These optimizations include the application, granting and enforcement of patents, but also information services.
Agreements for Licensing
- The costs which arise during the licensing of patents shall be reduced
- To this end procedures will be adopted from countries with more mature patent systems
- Additionally the licensing procedures with SEPs (standard-essential patents) will be simplified and standardized
Improved Patent Enforcement
- The reach of governmental measures shall be defined more accurately
- A time frame will be set for decisions taken by authorities to be published
- For cases of deliberate IP infringement a certain procedure will be set to collect punitive compensations
The Role of Patent Professionals in China
- The competition of patent professionals with diverse qualifications shall be boosted
- Patent agencies shall develop into market-oriented, international businesses
What these Changes mean for you
The intended modifications to the patent law show that China is preparing itself more and more for international investors and is trying to create incentives for them. Especially the more accurate definition of the different authorities? responsibility should have positive effects. The powers of the government and local authorities have often been hard to resolve which is a huge problem during patent disputes to this day.