Chinese utility model patent application

Katherine HE
BORSAM IP———————————————

In the patent system of China, we have three types of patent, i.e. invention patent, utility model patent application and design patent. We’ll introduce the invention patent and design patent application in other articles but only focus on utility model patent application here.
What is a utility model patent?
The subject of a utility model patent application is related to the shape, construction or the combination of two aforesaid matters. And the patent for utility model can be granted only for products. The products herein shall be objects manufactured by industrial methods, having definite shape and structure, and occupying a certain space. 
What is the examination procedure of a utility model patent?
The precondition of a patent is novelty, inventive step and applicability, so the utility model patent is no exception. But comparing with the invention patent, the requirement for inventive step is lower.
After filing the utility model patent application, the examiner only conducts the preliminary search to confirm if the application has any formal defects. The formal defect means if the applicant submitted all the necessary documents and whether the application violated the rules of absolute refusal.
If no rejection issued during this stage, the examiner will issue notice of allowance to ask pay for registration fee. Once the fee paid, the certificate can be expected in around 2 months.
How to file utility model patent application?
There are three ways to file utility model patent application in China, i.e.
1) PCT national phase but in the manner of utility model patent;
2) Conventional patent application with claiming a priority of other countries;
3) Direct filing of the application to 
But all the ways above are based on the patent document are ready to file or translate to file. If you just have a product or idea, it is important to find a patent attorney to draft the specification for you.
What is need for filing the utility model patent?
1) Specification, including description, claims, abstract and drawings, the drawings are necessary for a utility model patent application;
2) Power of attorney signed by the applicant;
3) Applicant and inventor’s name, address and nationality.
How long could the utility model patent live?
The protection of the utility model patent is ten years from the filing date and should be renewed year by year after granted.
The official maintenance
 fee of a utility model patent is 600 CNY to 2000 CNY according to the different year and penalty (5%~25%) is charged if the patentee missed the deadline.