The State Intellectual Property Office recently announced the latest Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme developments – namely, the relaxation of the PPH requirements regarding some of the Patent Cooperation Treaty international work products and the introduction of a new PPH pilot programme between China and Egypt. This will assist in the acceleration of examination for applicants' corresponding Chinese patent applications.
The State Intellectual Property Office has issued a draft of the Regulations on Service Inventions. The regulations will play an important role in encouraging innovations and talent in China by entitling inventors to safeguard the IP rights for their inventions made in the course of their employment. However, several issues in the draft need to be addressed and clarified.
The State Intellectual Property Office has issued the Administrative Measures for the Priority Examination of Invention Patent Applications. Through these measures, a fast-track system for the examination procedure of patent applications has been formalised and made workable in China.
The State Intellectual Property Office has published draft amendments to the Patent Law. Overall, their implementation would be positive for patent protection, as they would lower the burden of proof and might allow for the recovery of greater damages for wilful infringement. However, some commentators see the amendments as tipping the balance too far towards patent owners.