In China, patent rights are granted upon application. Foreign patents cannot be automatically protected in China. Foreigners have to apply for patent rights in China. The National Intellectual Property Administration (“NIPA”, formerly known as State Intellectual Property Office) is in charge of the administration of patents.
What can be patented in China?
In China, there are three types of patent: inventions, utility model, and design.
What cannot be patented in China?
In China, not all invention, utility model or design can be patented. Patent will not be granted for any of the following:
What are the conditions for granting patent?
The patent application must be filed with the NIPA. Any foreigner without any habitual residence or business address in China shall entrust a patent agency legally set up in China to apply for a patent on its behalf.
Does a foreign patent enjoy priority when applying for a patent in China?
Yes. If the same applicant files an application for a patent pertaining to the same subject in China, and the foreign country has concluded an agreement or an international treaty with China, the applicant may enjoy a right of priority. The priority period for the invention or utility model is 12 months. The priority period for the design is 6 months. The priority period starts from the date on which the applicant first applies for patent in a foreign country.
What is the term of protection for patents?
The term of protection varies depending on the type of patent:
How to assign or license a patent?
A pending application or a registered patent can be assigned or transferred. The assignment contract shall be in writing and registered with NIPA. The assignment shall take effect as of the date of its registration.
A registered patent can be licensed to another, but a pending application cannot be licensed.
This article and its contents are not regarded as formal legal opinions or suggestions of IsCham member, Chamzon Law Firm or its lawyers. If you require legal advice or professional analysis, please contact the lawyers of Chamzon Law Firm, or contact your regular contact lawyer. For more details, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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