Guide to Filing Patent Applications in China
1. General Information
According to the Chinese Patent Law, three types of patents are issued in China, namely invention patents, utility model patents, and design patents.
2. Unpatentable subject matters
According to Articles 5 and 25 of Chinese Patent Law, no patent right shall be granted for any of the following:
Inventions contrary to the laws of the State or social morality or being detrimental to public interest;
Rules and methods for mental activities;
Methods for the diagnosis or for the treatment of disease;
Animal and plant varieties;
Substances obtained by means of nuclear transformation.
3. Duration of patent right
The duration of patent right for inventions is twenty years, and the duration of patent right for utility models or for designs is ten years, counted from the filing date.
4. Language used for a patent application in China
Any document submitted under the Chinese Patent Law and its Implementing Regulations shall be in Chinese. When a certificate or a certified document submitted is in foreign languages, and when the Patent Office deems necessary, the applicant will be required to submit a Chinese translation of the certificate or the certified document within a prescribed time limit. However, translation of a priority document is not required.
5. Information required in the instruction letter
When an applicant entrusts us to file a new Chinese patent application, an instruction letter indicating the following items is required:
(1) type of application to be filed
(2) title of invention/utility model/design
(3) applicant's and inventor's full name(s), address(es) and nationality(ies).
(4) if substantive examination is requested simultaneously
6. Documents required for filing patent application
(1) Power of Attorney
Please make use of our Power of Attorney form/General Power of Attorney form. A Power of Attorney form shall be submitted for each one application, while a General Power of Attorney covers all future applications. Please note that the date of execution shall be earlier than the Chinese filing date.
(2) Certified Priority Document
The certified priority document shall be submitted within three months of the date of filing in China.
Where the applicant as indicated in the priority document is not the same as the that for the Chinese application, an assignment duly executed by the original applicant is required and shall be submitted within three months of the date of filing in China. The assignment should be either an originally signed document or a notarized copy. The applicant may also use our assignment form, which shall be executed by the applicant of the priority application.
7. Application documents containing
(1) Invention or utility model: a description, claims, drawings (if any) and an abstract.
(2) Design: three
(3) 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
In the case of a patent application, the applicant shall request substantive examination any time within three years of the filing date in China or of the priority date (if priority is claimed).