In a significant move to bolster intellectual property rights, amendments to the Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law were announced on December 21, 2023, which will take effect on January 20, 2024. The amendments, particularly relevant to design patents, are as follow:
Flexibility in Design Patent Filings
China’s new filing method for design patents, which allows the use of both dotted and solid lines, brings it in line with practices in countries like the United States and the European Union. This method facilitates a more detailed representation of design elements, catering to the complexity and diversity of modern designs. It provides inventors with advanced tools to accurately depict their creations, similar to the flexibility seen in Western patent systems.
Streamlining Patent Applications with Domestic Priority
The introduction of domestic priority for design patents, based on prior invention or utility model applications, is a significant move towards the integration of different patent types. This approach mirrors the holistic intellectual property strategies seen in countries like Japan and Germany, where the interconnected nature of inventions and their design aspects are recognized. It allows inventors to leverage earlier filing dates, streamlining the patent application process.
Public Access to Evaluation Reports
In an effort to enhance transparency in the patent process, the amended regulations require that evaluation reports for utility models and designs be made public. This move is expected to shed light on the criteria and considerations involved in the patent approval process. For designers and inventors, this means they can now access valuable information that could guide them in future applications, making the process more transparent and informative.
These amendments to China’s patent laws, particularly concerning design patents, demonstrate China’s commitment to refining its intellectual property landscape. By adopting more flexible filing options, streamlining the application process through domestic priority, and enhancing transparency with public evaluation reports, China is aligning its practices with those of leading countries in intellectual property rights. This alignment not only fosters innovation within China but also enhances its compatibility and competitiveness in the global intellectual property arena.
Contact us if you need help with background investigation of Chinese companies, protecting patents, trademarks, verification of contracts to the law in China, or help with other legal challenges that you have in China.
If you require our assistance or have further questions about our services, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Relationship Managers Jan Erik Christensen, at email@example.com or Milla Chen, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you and helping your business succeed in China.