The China National Intellectual Property Administration (“CNIPA”) formally announced the newly amended Patent Examination Guidelines (“Guidelines”) effective on November 1, 2019. The Guidelines were amended to improve patent quality and efficient examination.
1. Examiner interviews are made more available, allowing applicants to request interviews anytime during substantive examination.
2. Applicants may request expedited examination pursuant to “Regulation on Patent Prioritized Examination.”
3. For same-day filing of invention and utility model patent applications, by default, the invention patent application is not qualified for prioritized examination.
4. Upon applicant’s challenge, examiner shall provide evidence to show the source of common knowledge if it is being relied upon in a rejection.
5. Stem cells separated from human embryos becomes patent eligible.
6. Applicant may choose to delay examination of invention and design patent applications up to 3 years. For invention patent, applicant shall make such request upon requesting substantive examination. As to design patent, applicant shall make such request upon filing.
Other amendments include requiring more specificity for design patents for graphical user interfaces (GUIs), search database resources, assignment documents, timeline to file divisionals and related inventorship issues.
More details are available at: http://www.cnipa.gov.cn/zfgg/1142481.htm (Chinese only).