[China] Revised Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law and Updated Examination Guidelines - Effective from January 20, 2024

[ April 17, 2024 ] >Back
Effective from January 20, 2024, significant revisions have been made to the "Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law" and the "Examination Guidelines" subsequent to the 4th amendment to China's "Patent Law" on June 1, 2021. Below are the notable modifications:
  1. Electronic Notifications: The 15-day grace period for electronic notifications via the CPC system has been eliminated. Deadlines now commence from the date the notification is transmitted into the CPC system.
  2. Novelty Grace Period: Inventions and utility models disclosed at designated academic or technical conferences within 6 months before the filing date will retain their novelty.
  3. Priority Claims:
    National priority for design applications: Design patents can now claim national (Chinese) invention or utility model applications as a priority, and the earlier application will not be deemed abandoned.

    Restoration of Priority Right: If an applicant fails to file a patent or utility model application within the 12-month time limit, they may still claim priority within 2 months from the expiration date of the time limit, if there is a justified reason.

    Adding or Correcting Priority Claim: The Regulations now allow for adding or correcting a priority claim after filing the Chinese patent or utility application. The request must be made within 4 months from the filing date or 16 months from the filing date of the earlier application, whichever is later.

  4. Patent Evaluation Reports: The Regulations now allow for alleged infringers to request an evaluation report. The eligible applicants for patent evaluation reports include the patentee, interested party and alleged infringer. The applicant of patent application can request an evaluation report at the registration stage.
  5. Delayed Examination: The amended regulations allow applicants to file a request for deferred examination requests for inventions, designs and now utility models — timeframes for requesting examination deferment vary depending on the type of patent.
  6. Patent Term Compensation: Specific rules have been established for compensating patent terms for unreasonable delay during the prosecution of a patent, with request to be filed within 3 months from the publication of the patent grant.
  7. Hague International Designs: The Hague Agreement became effective for China on May 5, 2022. To align with the Hague Agreement, new regulations (Chapter 12) have been added to detail the filing procedures under the Hague Agreement.
  8. Good Faith Principle: The principle of good faith is now embedded across all examination phases—preliminary, substantive, reexamination, and invalidation. Examiners can proactively invoke this principle as grounds for rejection.

For detailed information on these amendments, please do not hesitate to contact us via email.