China: SIPO's Decision On Amending Guidelines For Patent Examination

SIPO decides to make the following amendments to Guidelines for Patent Examination.

1. Amendment on Section 4.2, Chapter 1 of Part II

The following new paragraph has been added to paragraph 2, Section 4.2 Chapter 1 of Part II.

Claims concerning business models shall not be excluded of its possibility of being granted with patent rights in accordance with Article 25 of China Patent Law, as long as such claims contain both business rules & methods and technical features at the same time.
No other changes are made to this section.

2. Amendments on Section 2, Chapter 9 of Part II

Change "computer programs recorded in mediums (such as tapes, discs, optical discs, magnetic optical discs, ROM, PROM, VCD, DVD, or other computer-readable mediums)" in point (1) of Section 2, Chapter 9 of Part II into "computer programs per se recorded in mediums (such as tapes, discs, optical discs, magnetic optical discs, ROM, PROM, VCD, DVD, or other computer-readable mediums)".

Change "computer-readable storage medium defined by recorded program" in the first sentence of paragraph 3, point (1), Section 2, Chapter 9 of Part II into "computer-readable storage medium defined by recorded program per se".

No other changes are made to this section.

3. Amendment on Section 3, Chapter 9 of Part II

Example 9 in point (3), Section 3, Chapter 9 of Part II is deleted.

4. Amendments on Section 5.2, Chapter 9 of Part II

Change "i.e., the apparatus for executing the process" in the first sentence of paragraph 1, Section 5.2, Chapter 9 of Part II into "such as the apparatus for executing the process".

Change "and a detailed account shall also be given on the component parts by which the various functions of the computer program are performed, and on how these functions are performed." in the third sentence of paragraph 1, Section 5.2, Chapter 9 of Part II into "said component parts include not only hardware but also programs".

Change all the "function modules" in paragraph 2, Section 2, Chapter 9 of Part II into "program modules".

No other changes are made to this section.

5. Amendment on Section 3, Chapter 9 of Part II

Add Section 3.5 into Section 3, Chapter 10 of Part II, and move point (2) of Section 3.4 to Section 3.5 and change it accordingly.

3.5 Experimental data submitted after due date

Whether or not the description is sufficiently disclosed is judged on the basis of the disclosure contained in the initial description and claims.

For experimental data submitted after the date of filing, examiner shall also carry out examination thereon. The technical effects as demonstrated by such data shall be derived from the disclosures of the current patent application by a person skilled in the art.

No other changes are made to this section.

6. Amendment on Section 4.2, Chapter 3 of Part IV

Change item (2) (i) of Section 4.2, Chapter 3 of Part IV into:

(i) for claims amended by means other than deletion by the patentee, addition of causes for invalidation is made within the time limit specified by the Patent Reexamination Board, and the added causes are explained concretely within the time limit;

No other changes are made to this section.

7. Amendment on Section 4.3.1, Chapter 3 of Part IV

Delete "claims amended by way of combination or" in (2)(i), in Section 4.3.1, Chapter 3 of Part IV.

No other changes are made to this section.

8. Amendments on Section 4.6.2, Chapter 3 of Part IV

Change the first paragraph of Section 4.6.2, Chapter 3 of Part IV into:
Subject to the above principles of amendments, the specific manners of amendment are generally limited to deletion of a claim, deletion of a technical solution, further definition of claims and amendments of obvious mistakes.

Delete paragraph 3 of Section 4.6.2, Chapter 3 of Part IV, make paragraph 4 as paragraph 3 and add a new paragraph as paragraph 4. The new paragraph is as follow.

Further definition of claims means to narrow the protection scope of a claim by adding one or more technical features of other claims into it.

No other changes are made to this section.

9. Amendment on Section 4.6.3, Chapter 3 of Part IV

Change "amend the claims by the way of combination" in paragraph 2 of Section 4.6.3, Chapter 3 of Part IV into "amend the claims by the way of deletion".

No other changes are made to this section.

10. Amendments on Section 5.2, Chapter 4 of Part V

Change point (2) of Section 5.2, Chapter 4 of Part V into:

(2) for the file of a patent application for invention which has been published and whose grant of patent right has not been announced, the contents in the file which may be consulted and copied relate to those before the date of the publication, including the application documents, formality documents directly relating to the application, publication documents, notifications and decisions sent to the applicant in the preliminary examination procedure, the text of the observations submitted by the applicant in response to the notifications, as well as the notifications, search report and decisions sent to the applicant in the substantive examination procedure.

Change point (3) of Section 5.2, Chapter 4 of Part V into:

(3) for the file of a patent application for which grant of patent right has been announced, the contents in the file which may be consulted and copied include the application documents, the formality documents directly relating to the application, pamphlet of patent application for invention, pamphlet of patent for invention, pamphlet of patent for utility model or pamphlet of patent for design, Patent Register, and evaluation report of patent, and the various notifications, search reports and decisions issued by the Patent Office or the Patent Reexamination Board to the applicant or parties concerned, and the text of the observations submitted by the applicant or the parties concerned in response to the notifications in the examination proceedings which have been closed (including procedures of preliminary examination, substantive examination, reexamination and invalidation, etc.).

Delete point (5) of Section 5.2, Chapter 4 of Part V

No other changes are made to this section.

11. Amendment on Section 7.4.2, Chapter 7 of Part V

Change Section 7.4.2, Chapter 7 of Part V into:

7.4.2 Time limit of suspension due to execution assistance of property preservation

For the suspension due to execution assistance of property preservation asked by the People's Court, the suspension shall cease in accordance with the period provided in the civil ruling paper and notification of execution assistance.
Where the People's Court orders to continue adopting measures of property preservation, it shall serve the Patent Office with a Notification on Assistance in Execution for keeping on the preservation before the expiration of the time limit for suspension. The suspension may be extended if the notification complies with the regulations set forth in Section 7.3.2.1 of this Chapter after being check.

12. Amendment on Section 7.4.3, Chapter 7 of Part V

Delete "or asked by the People's Court to assist in execution of property preservation" in Section 7.4.3, Chapter 7 of Part V

No other changes are made to this section.

13. Amendment on Section 7.5.2, Chapter 7 of Part V

Change "The duration of the preservation is 6 months." in Section 7.5.2, Chapter 7 of Part V to "The duration of the preservation is as provided in the civil ruling paper and notification of execution assistance".

No other changes are made to this section.

This decision shall come into force as of April 1, 2017.

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.

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