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Director of China’s National Intellectual Property Administration: Speed Up Patent & TM Prosecution; Crack Down on Irregular Applications

At the 2021 High-Level Forum on China IP Protection (2021年中国知识产权保护高层论坛) held April 23, 2021, SHEN Changyu, the Director of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) gave a keynote speech stating CNIPA will speed up patent and trademark application examination and also crack down on both irregular patent and trademark applications.

“Currently, the examination period for high-value invention patents was reduced to 14 months, and the average examination period for trademark registration was reduced to 4 months….  By the end of next year, our invention patent examination period will be compressed to 16.5 months, the high-value invention patent examination period will be compressed to 13.8 months, and the average trademark registration examination period will be compressed to less than 4 months.”

Further, CNIPA will “severely crack down on irregular patent applications that are not for the purpose of protecting innovation and irregular trademark applications that are not for the purpose of use, so that the protection of intellectual property rights will return to the original intention of the system design and develop steadily.”

With respect to irregular patent applications, CNIPA recently released the Measures Regarding the Regulation of Patent Applications (关于规范申请专利行为的办法) and provincial IP offices have been issuing notices withdrawing a significant number of irregular patent applications.  With respect to trademarks, local bureaus of the State Administration for Market Regulation has been fining both applicants and TM agencies for malicious trademark registration.  In a report from the Party Group of the CNIPA 14,600 malicious applications for trademarks not intended for use were rejected in 2020.

The Director also mentioned that “in the past two years, the whole system has handled 81,000 administrative adjudication cases of patent infringement disputes.”  Administrative adjudication parallels judicial enforcement of patent rights.  The CNIPA recently released the Measures for Administrative Adjudication of Major Patent Infringement Disputes (Draft for Solicitation of Comments) 《重大专利侵权纠纷行政裁决办法(征求意见稿)》explaining how the system may work under the amended Patent Law going into effect June 1, 2021.

A transcript  of the keynote speech can be found here (Chinese only).

Principal, and Director of the China Intellectual Property Practice

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