Formal Requirements

 Power of Attorney

1. Does it require notarization and legalization?
Original Power of Attorney signed by the applicant is sufficient. Notarization or legalization is not necessary.

2. Can it be submitted after filing?
Yes.

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3. If the answer is yes, what is the time limit for filing the Power of Attorney?
After the filing, the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) will issue an official Notification in which a two-month time limit to file the Power of Attorney will be set.

 Priority document

1. Is a certified copy of the priority document required?
If a Chinese application claims the priority of a foreign application, a certified copy of the foreign priority application document is required.

2. If the answer is yes, can it be filed after the application’s filing date? What time term is allowable?
A certified copy of the priority document can be filed upon filing the Chinese application or within 3 months from the Chinese filing date.

 Translation

1. Shall the Chinese translation of an application be submitted for Chinese filing?
It is required by the Chinese SIPO that all the patent application documents shall be in Chinese. The SIPO does not accept patent filing documents in any foreign language, such as English.

2. If the answer is yes, what is the time limit for filing the Chinese translation?
The Chinese translation of the application document shall be submitted upon filing the patent application in China.

3. Must the Chinese translation be verified by a certified translator in China?
The Chinese translation of the patent application documents does not need to be verified by a certified translator. 

● Assignment

1. Is an Assignment executed by the inventor(s) required for Chinese filing?
If the applicant of a Chinese patent application which claims a foreign priority is not the same as the applicant in the priority application, a priority assignment executed by the applicant/inventor(s) is required.

2. If the answer is yes, does it need notarization and legalization?
An original signed Assignment will be sufficient. If the Assignment is a copy, it needs to be notarized.


Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)


1. Is China a PCT contracting State?
Yes.

2. What is the time limit for entering the Chinese national phase?
A PCT application should enter the Chinese national phase within 30-month from the earliest priority date. If, for any reason, a PCT application fails to enter the Chinese national phase within the 30-month time limit, it could be filed by 32-month deadline from the earliest priority date by paying a two-month grace period fee upon the PCT Chinese filing.

3. Are the formal requirements the same as the ones mentioned above?
Most of the requirements are the same as those above. However, if the priority document(s) of a PCT application has been submitted during the international stage, it is not needed for submission in the Chinese national phase filing. An assignment is needed if the applicant in Chinese national phase filing is not the same as the applicant in the PCT international stage.


Novelty/Inventiveness Examination

What is the time limit for requesting the novelty/inventiveness examination?
The applicant shall file a request for substantive examination within 3 years from the priority date. Then, after the application enters the substantive examination stage, the Examiner will examine the application, including novelty and inventiveness.


Invalidation

Can a granted Chinese patent be invalidated? If the answer is yes, please provide a brief description.
Starting from the date of announcement of the grant of the patent right, any entity or individual considers that the grant of the said patent right is not in conformity with the relevant provisions of the Chinese Patent Law, it or he may request the Patent Reexamination Board to declare the patent right invalid. The patent Reexamination Board shall examine the request for invalidation of the patent right, make a decision on it and notify the person who made the request and the patentee. The decision declaring the patent right invalid shall be registered and officially announced.


Annuity Fees

1. Does Chinese patent require the payment of annuity fees? 
Yes.

2. If the answer is yes, are they paid from the filing date or from the granting date?
The annuity fees are paid from the grant of the patent right.


Protection Term

What is the protection period for a patent in China?
Chinese patent types include invention, utility model and design. 
The duration of patent right for inventions shall be twenty years, counted from the filing date.
The duration of patent right for utility models shall be ten years, counted from the filing date.
The duration of patent right for design shall be ten years, counted from the filing date.


Term for Patent Granting in China

What is the average time for the granting of a patent without any complications?
Generally speaking, the average time for the granting of a Chinese patent:
Invention: 2-4 years from the date of filing
Utility model: 6-12 months from the date of filing
Design: 6-12 months from the date of filing​

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