According to the data from the State Intellectual Property Office of China (i.e. SIPO), as of Oct. 28, 2016, the total amount of applications for evaluation report of patent for design exceeded the benchmark number of 20,000. The definition of "evaluation report" was introduced in the present Patent Law when it came into force from Oct. 1, 2009, and is applied to a patent for design or utility model, which is granted without substantive examination.

6,032 applications were applied for the evaluation report of patent for design in the year of 2015, while in 2016 and to the date of Oct. 28, 7,004 applications for evaluation report of patent for design had been submitted to SIPO. It is predicated that the number of the applications for evaluation report of paten for design will continue to grow.

The purpose of an evaluation report, among others, is for a patent owner to evaluate whether his patent for design is valid, and to block a patent owner from enforcing his patent for design or utility model, which is obviously not new. A court would be inclined to stay a patent infringement litigation if the evaluation report shows that the involved patent for design is obviously not new and the defendant has already filed a request for invalidation in time with the Patent Reexamination Board of the SIPO.

According to the drafted amendment to the current Patent Law, it is expected that the role of the evaluation report of patent for design or utility model will be further enhanced.

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.