China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) released the Administrative Measures for Credit Evaluation of Patent Agencies (Trial) (专利代理信用评价管理办法(试行)) on April 11, 2023 and effective May 1, 2023. The Measures follow up on the trial implementation in a few provinces and the Draft Measures issued on October 8, 2022. Low grades will lead to increased inspections and other penalties.
CNIPA has divided the credit rating of patent agencies into four grades in descending order, namely “A”, “B”, “C” and “D”. The full score is 100 points, with deductions based on negative information. Negative information includes irregular operation or practice, abnormal operation of the institution, administrative or criminal punishment, industry punishment, etc. The grading standards are as follows:
(1) Grade A- more than 90 points (inclusive) and less than 100 points (inclusive);
(2) Grade B – more than 80 credit points (inclusive) but less than 90 points;
(3) Grade C – more than 60 points (inclusive) but less than 80 points;
(4) Grade D – less than 60 points.
The scores will be public.
The severest points deductions for patent agencies include for filing abnormal patent applications domestically and/or abroad (up to 40 points); when ordered to stop accepting new patent business (60 points); revocation of license (100 points); and criminal conviction of senior management (100 points).
Interestingly, if the per capita agency volume of practicing agents is significantly higher than the normal level, and no justifiable reason can be explained, 15 points will be deducted.
The full text is available here (Chinese only).