02 August 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

China streamlines patent filing

The China State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) has unveiled a set of new rules that aim to streamline patent applications.

Issued in response to the central government’s call for an improved business environment and streamlined procedures for administrative approval, the rules, which went into effect on 1 August, will reduce filing burdens and improve the efficiency of administrative services in specific fields.

These include patents on energy saving, environmental protection, new generation information technology, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy and intelligent manufacturing.

The rules will also introduce streamlined procedures for more fields, including the internet, big data and cloud computing.

SIPO’s previous rules, issued five years ago, only applied to invention patent filings, while the new system will extend to utility and design patents.

China has ranked first in invention patent filings worldwide for six consecutive years, accoding to SIPO. Applications reached 565,000 in the country in the first half of 2017, up 6.1 percent from the previous year.

Around 209,000 invention patents were granted during the same period, with approximately 160,000 belonging to Chinese filers. China’s total patent inventory has now surpassed 1.22 million.

Justin Simpson, founder of RWS inovia, said in June that China has begun to take intellectual property rights more seriously.

According to RWS inovia, 87 percent of more than 115 international companies and universities surveyed have filed patents in Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Simpson said that the report shows the maturation of these regions, especially China.

“This doesn’t come to us a surprise as almost all of our clients have made China a primary focus over the past several years,” he said.

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