In China, there are three types of patents according to the Chinese Patent Law, they’re utility model patents, design patents and invention patents.
2. Subject matters that’re unpatentable
The Chinese Patent Law rules out the possibility of granting patent rights to the following items in its 5th and 25th Articles:
a. Inventions that are in violation of the Chinese laws or social morality, or pose a threat to the public interest;
b. Scientific discoveries;
c. Rules and methods for mental activities;
d. Approaches to diseases’ diagnosis or treatment;
e. Varieties of animals or plants;
f. Substances acquired by nuclear transformation.
3. Patent right duration
The duration of patent rights depends on the type of the patent, for inventions, it’s 20 years, for utility models, it’s 10 years, counting from the date of filing.
4. What languages are used for patent application in China?
Chinese shall be the only language for any document submitted according to the Chinese Patent Law as well as the Implementing Regulations thereof. If a patent is in foreign languages, you will be required by the Patent Office to get it translated within a prescribed time limit.
5. What do you need in the instruction letter?
When you entrust an agency to file a new Chinese patent application, it is important that you give it an instruction letter outlining the following items:
a. What is the type of your application?
b. Title of invention/utility model/design
c. The full name, address and nationality of the applicant and inventor
d. Do you need at the same time a substantive examination?
6. What’re the documents you need to file a patent application?
a. Power of Attorney
The agency will provide you with a Power of Attorney/General Power of Attorney form which is required for each one application, whereas in a General Power of Attorney, all future applications are included. It’s important to keep in mind that the date of execution shall be earlier than the Chinese filing date.
b. Certified Priority Document
Within 3 months of filing the application in China, you should submit the certified priority document.
In case that the applicant stated in the priority document differs from that for the Chinese application, you will need to submit an assignment duly executed by the original applicant within 3 months of filing the application in China. The assignment can be an originally signed document or a notarized copy. You can also use the agency’s assignment form, although in that case, the form needs to be executed by the applicant of the priority application.
7. Application documents are listed below:
a. Invention or utility model: a description, claims, drawings (if any) and an abstract.
b. Design: three
c. Sets of drawings/photos of the product incorporated with the design.
Such drawings/photos shall be sized from 3cm x 8cm to 15cm x 22cm and with no shaded lines and/or dotted lines.
8. Request for substantive examination
For a patent application, you should request substantive examination any time within three years of the filing date in China or of the priority date (if priority is claimed).
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