With effect from February 10, 2020, amendments to office actions and patent certificates in China for electronic patent applications are in force. The era of paper form for patent applications and patent documents will thus end.
Already since August 2017 there is an IP Appellate Tribunal in China specifically for all online proceedings. This trend towards the digital has now also reached the formal patent documents and notices. Since this week, with effect from February 10, 2020, new regulations for patent documents and notifications of electronic patent applications apply.
According to an official notice issued by the CNIPA, the Chinese Patent Office will issue electronic patent applications whose grant publication dates are on or after March 3, 2020, through the electronic filing system, the patent certificates in electronic form. In paper form, patent certificates will be issued only at the user’s request. This request must be made directly at the time of electronic filing on the e-filing website for electronic patent application procedures.
No more copies of patent certificates in paper form
Already since February 10, 2020, the seal “Approval of patent applications of the State Intellectual Property Office” is no longer printed on the notifications and changed to “Patent Examination Business of the State Intellectual Property Office”. In addition, also as of February 10, 2020, all notices and decisions of electronic patent applications are no longer issued by the CNIPA as paper copies.
What should I do if my office action does not have a seal?
It is possible that communications and decisions have already been or will be sent electronically by the CNIPA and do not yet have a seal. Any person who receives such an electronic office action or decision without a seal may, as a user of the electronic application on the electronic patent filing website, request to download the office action or decision with the electronic seal, the CNIPA has announced.
Patent examination in China amended since November
At this point we would like to refer to the amended patent examination in China. With effect from November 1, 2019, amendments to the guidelines for patent examination have come into force in China. Since then, a new patent examination for key technology is offered as a collective examination. Further changes concern, inter alia, divisional applications, GUI designs and also patents on stem cells.
Would you also like to file or protect your patent in China?
Our attorneys are very experienced in national and international patent law – also in China. Please contact us without obligation if you are interested.