On October 8, 2022, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) released the Administrative Measures for the Credit Evaluation of Patent Agency (Draft for Public Comment) (专利代理信用评价管理办法(公开征求意见稿)). The Draft updates and expands the prior trial started in January 2022 that was limited to Hebei Province, Jiangsu Province, Hunan Province, and Sichuan Province. Potential downgrades have increased for filing abnormal patent applications, especially if the abnormal patent applications causes “major international adverse effects.” Unfortunately, this Draft doesn’t apply to Chinese trademark agencies, which the US Patent & Trademark Office has been repeatedly sanctioning for fraud, including for using a deceased attorney to file U.S. trademark application documents.
Chinese patent agencies will be awarded letter grades A, B, C, and D with deductions based on negative information such as irregular operation or practice, abnormal operation of the agency, administrative or criminal punishment, industry punishment, etc.:
1. Those who have been identified as acting for abnormal patent applications and have not yet been punished will be deducted 0.5 points for each case, with a maximum deduction of 20 points; 2. For serious circumstances such as filing a large number of abnormal patent applications, etc., which have not been rectified and has not yet been punished, 10 points will be deducted; 3. If it is verified that an overseas abnormal patent application was applied for, 1 point will be deducted for each case, with a maximum deduction of 20 points; if it has caused major international adverse effects and refuses to withdraw, a maximum deduction of 40 points.
The total of the above three items can be deducted up to 40 points.