In August 2012, China's State Intellectual Property Office published the amendment proposal for the Patent Law of the People's Republic of China (consultative draft), inviting opinions from the public. This consultation process has just been completed. This marks the fourth revision of the Patent Law. Previously, the Law, published in 1984, was altered three times, in 1992, 2000 and 2008. Based on the consultative draft, this amendment is a partial adjustment, highlighting the administrative protection of a patent, while emphasising the judicial protection of patent rights.

In accordance with the consultative draft, the amendment involves a total of seven clauses, which fall into two sections, including the Invalidation of the Patent Right, and the Protection of the Patent Right. In terms of the clauses covered by the amendment, this is a partial adjustment, which differs from the previous three comprehensive changes.

Primary purpose of the amendment

In July 2008, the Chinese government promulgated and implemented strategic guidelines on intellectual property, defining IP protection as the state strategy. With the rapid development of the economy and increasing demand for innovation, the Chinese government is growing more aware of the need to protect intellectual property.

Following the third amendment to the Patent Law in 2008, insufficient patent protection has become the most pressing issue. As such, this amendment aims to enhance patent protection and the effectiveness of law enforcement.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.