China’s National People’s Congress has recently released a translation of the amended Patent Law. The full text in English is available here. The original Chinese text is available here. The amended Patent Law is effective as of June 1, 2021. Major changes in the Patent Law include increased patent term (e.g., patent term extension and patent term adjustment), patent linkage, and increased damages (longer statute of limitations and punitive damages). For ease of reference, the full English translation is reproduced here.
Starting from September 1, 2021, both applicants and their trademark agents or agency will need to sign and seal a Letter of Commitment for the Good Faith of the Parties Requesting the Protection of Well-Known Trademarks (当事人请求驰名商标保护诚信承诺书) when requesting well-known status for Chinese trademarks. Well-known status for Chinese trademarks must be requested from the China National Intellectual Property Administration or certain courts and can be useful when squatters are attempting to register or have registered an applicant’s mark.
On August 17, 2021, the People’s Government of Huangpu District, Guangzhou, China issued an announcement on soliciting opinions on the “Administrative Measures for Intellectual Property Special Funds in Guangzhou High-tech Zone, Guangzhou Development Zone, Huangpu District, Guangzhou (Draft for Solicitation of Comments)” (广州市黄埔区 广州开发区 广州高新区知识产权专项资金管理办法（征求意见稿)). The draft Measures offer a 2.5 Million RMB (~$384 thousand USD) housing subsidy to 100 intellectual property professionals that relocate to the Huangpu District in Guangzhou, China.
On August 3, 2021, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) release the Draft Revised Patent Examination Guidelines (Draft for Solicitation of Comments) (专利审查指南修改草案（征求意见稿）). The draft Guidelines update CNIPA’s current Guidelines based on the newly amended patent law that went into effect June 1, 2021. Discussion of some of the highlights potentially relevant to foreign applicants follows.