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Filing Patent Application in China

Please be advised that, in China, there are three types of patents, they are: invention, utility model and design. An invention patent has 20 years of protection term and needs substantive examination on patentability before issuing a patent. A utility model patent is like a small patent in some countries, which does not need substantive examination on patentability but only preliminary examination on formality and has a ten-year protection term. It likes a registration procedure for utility model patents.All filing documents and formal communications with the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) and the Patent Re-examination Board must be in Chinese.

Invention means any new technical solution relating to a product, a process or improvement thereof.

Utility model means any new technical solution relating to the shape, the structure, or their combination of a product, which is fit for practical use.

Design means any new design of the shape, the pattern or their combination, or the combination of the color with shape or pattern of a product, which creates an aesthetic feeling and is fit for industrial application.

When a patent application is filed in China through our associate office, the following documents are required:

A letter of instructions indicating the type of the application to be applied for, e.g. a Patent for Invention, a Patent for Utility Model or a Patent for Design; the name (s), address(es) and nationality(ies) of applicant(s) and inventor(s); the filing date(s), country(ies) and serial number(s) of the convention patent application or patent based on which the priority right(s) is(are) to be claimed, if any;

A description, claims and an abstract;

Drawings (if necessary for describing the invention); and a designated figure attached to abstract;

Power of Attorney signed by the applicant(s), which is neither necessarily notarized nor legalized and can be late furnished after filing within the time limit specified by China Patent Office;


For entry into national phase in China of an international application under PCT rules and regulations , international publication pamphlet, international preliminary examination report with annex and any amendment concerned if the applicant would like to bring such amendments into the examiner’s consideration during the examination on the application in China;

Certified priority document(s), which must be submitted to China Patent Office within three months form the Chinese filing date in case of claim(s) for priority, or the claim(s) to the priority right shall be deemed not to have been made;

Assignment of priority right either in the original form of it signed before the Chinese filing date or a notarized or certified copy of the original, if the applicant(s) for the Chinese application is(are) different from the former applicant(s) recorded in the priority document(s), which must be submitted to the Patent Office within three months from the Chinese filing date;

For application relating to micro-organisms, if the micro-organism concerned is not available to the public, a sample of said micro-organism should be deposited with an international depository qualified under “Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Micro-organisms for the Purpose of Patent Procedure” before the date of filing, or at the latest on the date of filing. Since China has become bound by the Budapest Treaty, the applicant, who has already deposited the sample of micro-organism with the depository institution designated by the Treaty, may submit a copy of the certificate of deposit supplied by that institution within 4 months from the filing date instead of making deposition with the Chinese depository institution.

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