On Dec 5, 2018, the Standing Committee of State Council approved the draft of the 4th Amendment of the Chinese Patent Law which is to be submitted to National People's Congress. I think it is reasonble to believe the 4th Amendment may be passed or even take effect in 2019.

No details of the 4th amendment to be submitted were released. But the following was reported.

1. A major change will be harsher punishment on wilfull infringement, i.e. higher amount of damages, fine, etc.

2. The draft also made clear that the defender has obligation to cooperate to provide evidence.

3. Internet service provider may be held jointly liable for infringement if it does not take measures in time against the infringing activities of its user.

4. The incentive mechanism of "service invention" was revised. This relates to how the right to a patent and its benefit is shared between an employer and an employee.

5. Some changes with respect to patent grant.

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