By Alex Zhang and Xuelin Ma King & Wood Mallesons’ IP Group
By 2015, the Chinese government plans to double the number of patent applications filed with the State Intellectual Property Office (“SIPO”), such that applications will increase from 1 million in 2010 to 2 million per year.[i] According to SIPO’s “National Patent Development Strategy (2011-2020)” (the “Patent Strategy”), “China will rank among the top two in the world in terms of the annual number of patents for inventions.”[ii] The Chinese government also expects that “the number of overseas patent applications filed by Chinese entities and individuals will double.”[iii] However, this ambitious plan cannot relieve concerns about the quality of Chinese innovation. The basis for these concerns is that “the vast majority of these applications are for utility model patents that merely undergo a preliminary examination for formalities rather than substance—a concept that does not exist in the US.”[iv] According to a Shanghai-based patent attorney quoted by the Economist: “Patents are easy to file but gems are hard to find in a mountain of junk.”[v]
Continue Reading Recent Proposed Amendments to China’s Patent Law: Will it help to improve the enforceability of patents in China?