Patent Prosecution and Registration

China patent prosecution
China patent registration

Patents should be registered with the patent office where protection is sought: national, regional or international (PCT). This entails completing an application form and attaching a full description of the invention. 

This should describe the invention clearly and precisely so that it provides new technical information to third parties and can be understood by a person with a general knowledge of the subject described. 

Patent Prosecution, the interaction between inventors, their representatives and a patent office, frequently involves highly complex technical and legal issues. Working through this process requires an understanding of the relevant procedures and the potential pitfalls. What Our China patent lawyer brings to the equation is a good bit of creativity to get the job done.

If filing an application in a country which is not that of the inventor then an address in that country must be given or that of someone holding power of attorney for the applicant. Other formalities are often required such as the payment of a fee or authentication by a public notary. Finally, the applicant must indicate the scope of protection requested so that those wanting to use the invention know what they may or may not do. 

If you want to file a patent in China, the invention must satisfy the following criteria:

Novel: The invention has not been made known to public in any way or anywhere in the world. It is important that the owners need to keep the innovation secret until the patent has been successful made. In experience, you usually can declare after you file the patent and it is in progrress. To safeguard yourself when speaking to investors, you usually request them to sign a non-disclosure agreement. However do note that not all business angels or venture capitalists will agree to that.

Innovation to existing product: The invention is an improved version of an existing product or process that is made available. Suppose you come up a way to speed up the synthesis of DNA by adding a new step to the existing protocol, that is a patentable invention. However, if you discover a gene that can cure cancer, you cannot patent it, because it is not an invention but a discovery.

Industrial application: Of course, being Chinaans, we are pragmatic people and so the invention must be useful and have some form of practical application in the industry.

Before you apply patent

Before filing an application to register your design, it is important to conduct a search of existing designs to ensure its registrability. You can search via China Patent Office Search. You may also wish to check the databases of other countries. Because the China Patent Office's website and database are mainly in Chinese, you may engage our service to search, because we can translate your patent into Chinese and then do the search. This way the search will be more precise.

Consider the following before you submit any patent application: Check your entitlement to the patent. The right to the grant of a patent belongs primarily to the inventor or inventors. However, if your invention has been developed in the course of your work, it may belong to your employer and other employees.

It is important that the patent applications are technically and legally accurate so as to provide effective protection. Also, failure to comply with the various stages of the process and stipulated time periods can result in an unfavourable outcome for your application. You should therefore consider engaging the services of a registered patent agent or practising advocate or solicitor to assist with the submission of your patent application.

When to register the patent

You should register your design at the earliest opportunity as the design registration system in China operates on a first-to-file basis. This means that the first person to file an application will, in general, have priority over others. 

In China, there is a priority application procedure in place for applicants who have filed an earlier application for the same design in another Paris Convention country or a World Trade Organisation member country (other than China). The China application must be filed within six months from the date of the first filing. 

Working with a China patent attorney

A patent attorney will optimize the patent application. Wording and detail of the patent process will later affect how the patent will be enforced. The average person who's not well-versed in patent law may not know how to take advantage of loopholes during this process. A patent lawyer's expertise will help you reach your goals. In this China patent law firm, our patent attorney estimates that the cost of a patent application with an attorney's help is between $800 and $10,000 (depending on the complexity of the invention). Retaining a lawyer will be an investment worth the initial cost, if you can afford it — hiring a patent attorney to assist with the application can potentially save thousands or, in some cases, millions of dollars in legal fees and battles down the road.

Dependable Patent Representation

When you have invested the time, energy and resources into the creation of an invention, it is important that you have the protection you need to secure your rights to it. Obtaining a patent ensures that no one else will be able to make, use, sell, offer for sale or import your invention. There are many issues that should be considered before applying for a patent. Therefore, be sure that you seek the advice of a registered patent attorney.

At this China patent law firm, we dedicate our entire practice to intellectual property law. We have substantial experience preparing and prosecuting provisional, non-provisional utility, design and plant patent applications. We also help you protect your trade secrets prior to applying for a patent through non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). From our office in Shenzhen we represent clients throughout Beijing, Shanghai and across the country.

The Application Procedure

This flowchart outlines what happens after you have submitted your application.

The relevant authority then examines the application. Although the system followed can differ from one country to another in general the Patent Office verifies that the invention falls within the scope of patentable subject matter, and that it is new, not obvious and has an industrial application, etc. If the Patent Office refuses to grant a patent the applicant should be given the right to make observations and then appeal. 

Once all the formalities are completed, a certificate is issued to the owner which states that the owner’s exclusive rights exist from the date of registration. 

It is important that the owner of the patent and third parties are able to obtain up-to-date information. Therefore, once the registration becomes valid important data regarding the owner and the patent should be published in an official gazette. 

The patent is protected in the country or countries where it was registered and granted. 

Filing for patent application 

  •  identification of the inventor
  •  clear and full description of the invention
  •  precise indication of the claim

Examination of application by the administrative authority 

  •  national and international screening
  •  examination of basic and formal requirements by the Patent Office

Our China patent prosecution lawyer provides a full spectrum of patent prosecution services including:

  •  Drafting original patent applications, working directly with inventors to generate detailed written descriptions and claims
  •  Filing applications at the China Patent Office, and at patent offices in other countries through our relationships with firms around the world
  •  Successfully procuring patents, with this China patent law firm regularly ranking as one of the top China patent firms with over 500 issued patents since 2000
  •  Assisting inventors to determine if inventions are patentable
  •  Consulting to develop patent strategies for filing and maintaining patents
  •  Creating patent drawings in-house, providing significant advantages to effectively convey the concepts of an invention visually
  •  Obtaining design patents that protect the ornamental features of a product
  •  Preparing and prosecuting reissue patent applications
  •  Preparing and filing ex parte and inter partes reexamination requests
  •  Preserving Priority by Filing a Provisional Patent Application

In many cases, a patent applicant benefits from filing a provisional patent application before filing a “regular” or non-provisional patent application. Although the provisional application is not examined by the patent office, it preserves the inventor’s priority to the invention. Filing a provisional application gives the inventor one year to develop the invention before filing a non-provisional application.  That year is not subtracted from the applicant’s patent term. Accordingly, filing a provisional patent application is an attractive way to begin patenting an invention.