Legal Basis of Patent

On April 1, 1985, the Chinese Patent Law entered into effect. It was revised on September 4, 1992 for the first time and the revised law became effective on January 1, 1993. On August 25, 2000, it was revised again and the revised law came into force on July 1, 2001. China became a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on June 3,1980. On March 19, 1985, China acceded to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Stockholm Act). China became a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) on January 1, 1994 and a member of the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure on July 1, 1995. China entered into the Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs on September 19, 1996 and the Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification on June 19, 1997. China became a member state of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (1978 Act) on April 23, 1999.

 All filing documents and formal communications with the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) and the Patent Re-examination Board must be in Chinese.
Types of Patent
There are three types of patent, i.e. patent for invention, patent for utility model and patent for design.
Patent Duration
The duration of patent for invention is twenty years, the duration of patent for utility model and design is ten years, counted from the filing date in China.

Definition of Invention / Utility Model and Design

Invention means any new technical solution relating to a product, a process or improvement thereof.

Utility model means any new technical solution relating to the shape, the structure, or their combination of a product, which is fit for practical use.

Design means any new design of the shape, the pattern or their combination, or the combination of the color with shape or pattern of a product, which creates an aesthetic feeling and is fit for industrial application.