Since joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), China has strengthened its legal framework and amended its IPR and related laws and regulations to comply with the WTO Agreement on Traded-Related Aspect of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). Despite stronger statutory protection, China continues to be a haven for counterfeiters and pirates. According to one copyright industry association, the piracy rate remains one of the highest in the world (over 90 percent) and U.S. companies lose over one billion dollar in legitimate business each year to piracy. On average, 20 percent of all consumer products in the Chinese market are counterfeit. If a product sells, it is likely to be illegally duplicated. U.S. companies are not alone, as pirates and counterfeiters target both foreign and domestic companies.

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Though we have observed commitment on the part of many central government officials to tackle the problem, enforcement measures taken to date have not been sufficient to deter massive IPR infringements effectively. There are several factors that undermine enforcement measures, including China’s reliance on administrative instead of criminal measures to combat IPR infringements, corruption and local protectionism at the provincial levels, limited resources and training available to enforcement officials, and lack of public education regarding the economic and social impact of counterfeiting and piracy.

China Commercial Law Firm is a full service intellectual property law firm in China dealing with prosecution, litigation, transaction, and consultation services relating to Patents and Trademarks with experienced and specialized patent and trademark attorneys.We would be happy to work for you with our high-quality and cost effective IP services within our expertise. Should you have any questions relating to China IP matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.

According to the Chinese Patent Law, three types of patents are issued in China, namely invention patents, utility model patents, and design patents.
1. General Information

According to the Chinese Patent Law, three types of patents are issued in China, namely invention patents, utility model patents, and design patents.

2. Unpatentable subject matters

According to Articles 5 and 25 of Chinese Patent Law, no patent right shall be granted for any of the following:
Inventions contrary to the laws of the State or social morality or being detrimental to public interest;
Scientific discoveries;
Rules and methods for mental activities;
Methods for the diagnosis or for the treatment of disease;
Animal and plant varieties;
Substances obtained by means of nuclear transformation.

3. Duration of patent right

The duration of patent right for inventions is twenty years, and the duration of patent right for utility models or for designs is ten years, counted from the filing date.

4. Language used for a patent application in China

Any document submitted under the Chinese Patent Law and its Implementing Regulations shall be in Chinese. When a certificate or a certified document submitted is in foreign languages, and when the Patent Office deems necessary, the applicant will be required to submit a Chinese translation of the certificate or the certified document within a prescribed time limit. However, translation of a priority document is not required.

5. Information required in the instruction letter

When an applicant entrusts us to file a new Chinese patent application, an instruction letter indicating the following items is required:
(1) type of application to be filed
(2) title of invention/utility model/design
(3) applicant's and inventor's full name(s), address(es) and nationality(ies).
(4) if substantive examination is requested simultaneously

6. Documents required for filing patent application

(1) Power of Attorney
Please make use of our Power of Attorney form/General Power of Attorney form. A Power of Attorney form shall be submitted for each one application, while a General Power of Attorney covers all future applications. Please note that the date of execution shall be earlier than the Chinese filing date.
(2) Certified Priority Document
The certified priority document shall be submitted within three months of the date of filing in China.
(3) Assignment

Where the applicant as indicated in the priority document is not the same as the that for the Chinese application, an assignment duly executed by the original applicant is required and shall be submitted within three months of the date of filing in China. The assignment should be either an originally signed document or a notarized copy. The applicant may also use our assignment form, which shall be executed by the applicant of the priority application.

7. Application documents containing

(1) Invention or utility model: a description, claims, drawings (if any) and an abstract.
(2) Design: three
(3) sets of drawings/photos of the product incorporated with the design. Such drawings/photos shall be sized from 3cm x 8cm to 15cm x 22cm and with no shaded lines and/or dotted lines.

8. Request for substantive examination

In the case of a patent application, the applicant shall request substantive examination any time within three years of the filing date in China or of the priority date (if priority is claimed).

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