Requirements and Documents for Chinese Patent Applications
Chinese patent applications have three types, according to the Chinese Patent Law, namely invention applications, utility model applications, and design applications. This article will talk about what requirements and documents for filing patents in China include.
What documents should the applicant submit?
Documents the application should submit usually include the Request for filing CN patents applications, claim, specification, figures, abstract and figure accompanying the abstract (for national applications entered by PCT route). However, for different types of Chinese patent applications, the document required to be submitted are slightly different. See the following table.
Besides, if the first filing is not filed with the CNIPA, the applicant can directly provide the technical documents of the first filing to the agent of the Chinese patent application, wherein the technical contents of the applications are basically the same. The Chinese agent will help translate the filing documents into Chinese and file a Chinese patent application with the CNIPA in due course.
What information should a request for filing Chinese patent applications include?
The information required in requests for filing these three types of Chinese patent applications are basically the same.
The information may include:
- The name, address and nationality of the applicant;
- The name and address of the inventor. If the first inventor is a Mainland Chinese, he is required to provide his identity card number (ID card No.). His name in Chinese should also be consistent with that shown on his ID card.
- Priority claim: if a previous application filed in other country/region, it can be claimed as a priority of the Chinese patent application. The filing date thereof, the country/region accepting the application and the priority application number should be indicated in the filing request.
Please kindly note that, different from US applications, any document submitted under the Chinese Patent Law and its Implementing Regulations must be in Chinese upon filing. Accordingly, all the information should be provided in Chinese. If no corresponding Chinese can be provided by the applicant, the agent will translate it/them into appropriate Chinese and fill in them in the request.
Some special requests for Chinese patent applications
- Request for Substantive Examination (applicable for invention applications)
A request for substantive examination may be filed upon filing, and no later than 3 years from the earliest priority date.
To expedite prosecution, the agent usually suggests that a request for substantive examination be filed upon filing. However, a delayed request for substantive examination may delay costs and allow more time for the applicant for commercial and/or technological development based on the invention.
- Request for Deferred Examination (applicable for invention applications and design applications)
As the request for deferred examination is usually filed in the Chinese invention applications, we would mainly introduce the deferred examination in the invention application.
A request for deferred examination for invention application shall be filed concurrently with the filing of the request for substantive examination by the applicant, and the request for deferred examination shall take effect from the date when the request for substantive examination takes effect.
The deferral period shall be one, two or three years from the date of entry into force of the request for deferred examination. Upon expiration of the deferral period, the application shall be examined in accordance with the sequence.
When necessary, the CNIPA can initiate its examination procedure and inform the applicant that his or her request for deferred examination is terminated.
- Request for Early Publication (applicable for invention applications)
A Chinese application usually publishes approximately 18 months from its earliest priority date. However, if a request for early publication is filed, a Chinese application publishes after completion of the formality examination which takes approximately 3-6 months after filing.
Is there any other formality document that should be filed with the CNIPA?
1) Power of Attorney (POA)
If a foreign applicant, enterprise or organization does not have a residential or business address in China, he must appoint a legally established patent agent to represent them in the patent prosecution procedure before the CNIPA. To set up such a representative relationship, the applicant should execute/seal on a power of attorney prepared by the agent or agent firm. Neither notarization nor legalization need to be furnished with on the POA. For more details about the POA, you can visit https://www.cnipa.gov.cn/transfer/bgxz/zlsqbg/ty/100021zldlwts.doc .
2) DAS code or Certified Priority Document
The DAS code or an electronic copy of certified priority document shall be submitted within three months from the filing date of Chinese application, without incurring any charge officially. If it is not submitted in due course, it may be confronted with a danger that the priority is not claimed successfully.
If the applicant of the Chinese patent applications differs from that recorded in the priority application, an assignment shall be filed with the CNIPA within 16 months from the earliest priority date. It should indicate that the right to file a Chinese application claiming to the priority application is assigned from the applicant as filed in the priority application to the current applicant of the to-be-filed Chinese patent application.
Due to the complexity of the Chinese patent practices, it is advisable for the applicant to appoint a qualified Chinese agent to help prepare the application document in Chinese and make appropriate amendments to comply with Chinese practice.