New Draft Patent Examination Guidelines are Available for Public Comment

August 2021

Two months after the new Chinese Patent law came into effect, the CNIPA has released a new set of Patent Examination Guidelines (proposed version) for public comments today (3 Aug 2021).

Here are the explanation of the amendments (Chinese only). Here is the full set of proposed amendments (Chinese only).

Briefly, the new amendment will focus on the below points:

  1. Updated Design Application System, involving requirements for partial designs and GUI applications, obviousness standard for designs, domestic priority, and other procedural requirements;
  2. Newly added provisions about the Patent Cooperation Treaty, including incorporation, priority restoration, addition, correction, etc.;
  3. Newly added provisions about Patent Term Extension and Patent Term Adjustment;
  4. Newly added provisions about Open Licensing and the procedures thereof;
  5. Newly added provisions about Patent Linkage;
  6. Newly added provisions about Grace Period for novelty under emergencies;
  7. Provide special requirements to improve the quality and efficiency of Examination, such as how to examine obviousness for utility model applications, and how to examine computer program patent applications. Provide more ways to initiating Ex-officio review in re-examination and invalidation cases.
  8. Simplified Procedures for several types of requests; and
  9. Change of Patent Office Structure.

We will study these in detail and will focus more closely on points 1-5 in subsequent articles.


We will keep you updated on any further developments. Stay tuned for more important updates on IP law in China.

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This article is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or a legal opinion on a specific set of facts.