Deep & Far Newsletter 2024 ©
Jun (2)

The Greater China IP Updates V Jun 2024

By Lyndon 


China Revises Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law and Updates Examination Guidelines

In early 2024, China made revisions to the Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law and the Examination Guidelines.  The following is a summary of the most notable changes:

  1. Electronic notifications via the CPC system will no longer have a 15-day grace period.  Deadlines will now commence from the date the notification is entered into the CPC system.
  2. Inventions and utility models disclosed at designated academic or technical conferences within 6 months before the filing date will retain their novelty.
  3. For design applications, they can now claim national (Chinese) invention or utility model applications as a priority, and the earlier application will not be deemed abandoned.
  4. 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.
  5. It is now possible to add or correct 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.
  6. Alleged infringers can now request an evaluation report.  The eligible applicants for patent evaluation reports include the patentee, interested parties, and the alleged infringer.  The applicant of the patent application can request an evaluation report at the registration stage.
  7. Applicants can file for deferred examination of inventions, designs and utility models although timeframes vary depending on the type of patent.
  8. Specific rules have been established for compensating patent applicants for unreasonable delay during the processing of a patent, and the request for compensation must be filed within 3 months from the publication of the patent grant. .


China Cracks Down on Infringement Related IP Cases

The Supreme People’s Court issued a report to introduce achievements made by courts nationwide in the area of IP protection.  The report, issued in April 2024, stated that Chinese courts heard more than 540,000 IP cases in 2023, which was an increase of 3.41% on the previous year.  Punitive damages were applied in 319 of the cases, up 117% year on year, with a total awarded amount reaching 1.16 billion yuan (US 160 million dollars).  Punitive damages are applied when the court perceives the infringement to be malicious and severe.  Following rapid growth of new technologies and emerging businesses, Chinese courts attached more importance to dealing with IP cases in the fields of 5G telecommunication, artificial intelligence, biomedical, seed and high-end equipment manufacturing in 2023.  Also, in 2023, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court concluded 140 lawsuits involving hi-tech, up 35.2% year-on-year.  Furthermore, IP tribunals in HangZhou, Ningbo, and Wenzhou (all in Zhejiang Province) solved some 2,000 technology-related cases, which had a knock-on effect of stimulating local innovation centers..