The Patent Law was first promulgated
in 1984 and was amended twice thereafter. The third round of
amendments to the patent law was submitted to the Standing
Committee of the National People's Congress on 25 August
The proposed amendments cover issues ranging from the
registration of design patents to administrative and civil court
enforcement actions. However, the two changes most important for
foreign companies concern the "first filing rule" and
provisions on prior art.
The current patent law stipulates
that Chinese entities (which include foreign invested companies)
shall file a PRC-made invention with the State Intellectual
Property Office ("SIPO") first, before registering the
same overseas. Since this rule does not provide for any penalties,
foreign invested companies often transferred their rights in
inventions to their (foreign) parent companies. Initially, it
appeared that the PRC government wanted to strengthen the current
provisions in the patent law and stipulate that violation of the
rule would result in refusal of SIPO to patent a PRC-made invention
in the PRC if it had been registered in a foreign country without
prior approval from SIPO. However, it appears now that the rule has
been scrapped, and that PRC-made inventions will be allowed to be
filed abroad before filing the same in the PRC.
The other important change to the patent law is the evaluation
of prior art. Under the current patent regime, prior art includes
information in publications worldwide, public usage in the PRC and
other means of disclosure in the PRC. The proposed amendment to the
patent law will likely create an absolute standard, and prior art
will then include worldwide use, worldwide publications and other
means of disclosure (worldwide).
Overall, the amendments to the
patent law will improve patent protection in the PRC and will
provide for patent registration and enforcement terms that are
generally on par with other international patent registration and
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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This article enunciates the recent, much awaited, and landmark judgment delivered on September 16, 2016 by Hon'ble Delhi High Court throwing light on the important provisions of the Copyright Act, 1962.
The Patents Act 1970, along with the Patents Rules 1972, came into force on 20th April 1972, replacing the Indian Patents and Designs Act 1911. The Patents Act was largely based on the recommendations of the Ayyangar Committee Report headed by Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar. One of the recommendations was the allowance of only process patents with regard to inventions relating to drugs, medicines, food and chemicals.
The Policy stresses on the need for a holistic approach to be taken on legal, administrative, institutional and enforcement issues related to IP.
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