The Beijing IP Court recently held that two Tianjin-based companies had infringed Chinese Patent 201310030601.2, which is owned by the largest specialty mushroom grower in China, Shanghai Finc Food Co Ltd. This is the first case concluded in the Beijing IP Court to involve an infringement dispute concerning a patented microorganism per se.
China has witnessed a number of significant developments in biotechnology patent prosecution in recent months. The amended Patent Examination Guidelines, which the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has been implementing since 1 November 2019, brought significant changes to the use of human embryonic stem cells. Further, in one of the few cases of its kind, the Supreme People's Court overturned a CNIPA re-examination decision in a patent administrative litigation.
The China National Intellectual Property Administration has released the Draft Amendment to the Patent Examination Guidelines. The draft proposes revisions to both substantive and procedural aspects in preliminary examination, substantive examination and invalidation proceedings regarding patents. This article analyses the major proposed changes to patent examinations.
The submission of experimental data after the filing date (also known as post-filing data) in support of the patentability of inventions has long been debated in the Chinese patent community. While opinions are divided in this regard, post-filing data provided by the applicant or patentee may serve as useful evidence if an invention is challenged for substantive defects.
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.