China Patent Prosecution:

In China, the concept of intellectual property rights (“IPRs”) comprises patent, trademark, copyright, domain name, plant varieties, traditional knowledge, and etc.

Among all the IPRs, patent was initially established for the purpose of promoting innovation. Possessing a patent right indicates that an authorized organization in a special jurisdiction, i.e. China Intellectual Property Office (“SIPO”) or Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department (“HKIPD”) etc., confirms the creative efforts made by the patent applicant to a certain technology and thus provides a monopoly right to him for precluding others from using the same technology within that jurisdiction.

Because it is a monopoly right, patent can provide a strong protection to innovations. Before issuing a patent right, the China SIPO sets a series of granting criteria which have to be met by a patent application. And the HKIPD issues a patent right once a China patent or a UK patent is granted. Understanding Chinese patent prosecution procedure is essential for the industry to deeply understand what can be protected by patent and how to obtain a patent right.

Since China has three types of patents (invention, utility model and design), the prosecution procedures of patents are different. Even though, as the only organization, the China Patent Reexamination Board (“PRB”) hears reexamination cases and patent invalidation cases for all the three types.