This month, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) released the “Draft Amendments to Several Provisions Regarding the Regulation of Patent Applications (Draft for Solicitation of Comments)” for public comments. 

Founders Legal retained foreign counsel, Foundin Intellectual Property reports that this release “would be a first-ever ground for rejecting a patent application based on a government policy, but not the patent law.”

The Amendment aims to further cut back on the recent surge in low-quality patent filings in China by defining the associated filing behaviors and subject violators to a criminal investigation.

According to Foundin, the Amendment defines nine types of behaviors that would qualify as abnormal patent filing behaviors outlined below:
Article 3 of the Amendment defined 9 types of behaviors as abnormal patent filing behaviors, including:

(1) Where the contents of several patent applications as filed are apparently identical, or are essentially formed by a simple combination of different features or elements;

(2) Where the patent application as filed contains made-up, falsified or altered contents, experimental data or technical effects, or is a copy, a simple substitution or a patchwork of prior arts or prior designs;

(3) Where the contents of multiple patent applications as filed are primarily randomly generated by computer and related technologies;

(4) Where the contents of the patent application as filed is apparently inconsistent with the common sense of technical improvement or design, or where the patent application worsens, piles up, or unnecessarily limits the scope of protection;

(5) Where the content of the patent application as filed is apparently inconsistent with the applicant’s or the inventor’s actual research capabilities and resource conditions;

(6) Where multiple patent applications which are substantially related to a certain entity, a certain individual, or a certain address are separately filed in a malicious manner, filed consecutively, or filed from different addresses;

(7) Where the right to apply for a patent or the patent right is transferred out or transferred in for improper intentions, or where the inventor or the designer is falsely charged for improper intentions;

(8) Where the patent agency, patent agent, or any other institutions or individuals, represent, induce, abet, or assist others, or collude with others in conducting any abnormal patent filing behaviors; and

(9) Other abnormal patent filings behaviors in violation of the principle of good faith and disturbing the normal order of patent work.To learn more about China’s recent efforts of curbing abnormal patent filings, view our video: China’s Move Against Patent Subsidies

Please contact us for detailed assessments as to what this may mean for your IP rights in China. Submit the form below to request a free consultation with a member of our Intellectual Property Team.