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A Guide to Chinese Patent Application / 申请中国专利指南


Author: Zhao Huanyu

A Guide to Chinese Patent Application

In the information age, patents are the world’s greatest source of technical information. The importance of legal protection through the granting of patent applications cannot be overstated. According to China’s State Intellectual Property Office’s (SIPO) most recent report, patent application grants increased significantly between 2006 and 2010. The total patent application increased at an annual rate of 22%, while applications of patents for an invention have increased at an annual rate of 24%. Domestic patent applications have reached 5.85 million with 3.32 million of those applications occurring between 1984 and 2010. Both domestic and international patent applications and grants have grown steadily. During the last decade, international patent applicants have grown by over 20% annually in China, which is five times over the international average. This article serves as a guide in the application process for patent grants in China, particularly for foreign applicants.
Application Procedure:
The Patent Law of the People’s Republic of China came into force on October 1, 2009, after its third revision in 2008. Chinese Patent Law protects three categories of patents: novel, creative and of practical use. A typical patent application process would go as followed:
1. Pre-application Inquiry
Entering the SIPO official website, one can search under “Patent Search.” If there are no similar patents that have been granted, one can proceed to the application. This step is often overlooked; however, it is prudent to engage in such an inquiry before undergoing research and development. This prevents any wasted time and energy.
2. Patent Application Documents Preparation
According to the requirements, a patent for an invention application should include these documents: an application request, abstract (with diagrams if applicable), description (with diagrams if applicable), and patent claims. Submit two copies of each document. In applying for a patent for design, the application shall include: an application request, drawings or photographs of the design (for patents involving colors, colored drawings or photographs), and a concise description of the product design. Submit two copies of each document.
Furthermore, according to SIPO’s regulation in 2004, one can submit applications electronically, but please do be aware of the electronic application user agreement.
3. Patent Application Submission
When applying for a patent, applicants can submit the necessary document to the SIPO office’s patent application filing counter or mail it directly to “SIPO filing office”. Applicants can physically submit the application documents to their local SIPO branch office’s application filing counter or mail it directly to their local SIPO branch’s filing office.
4. Patent Application and the Notice of Acceptance
After a SIPO filing office or its local branch receives patent applications, they will send out a notice of acceptance after confirming application dates and assigning application numbers to applications that meet all the requirements. Typically, a successful applicant should expect to receive SIPO’s notice of acceptance within a month’s time. Applications that do not meet all the requirements will receive a notice of rejection along with a copy of the application documents.
5. Patent Application Costs
(1) Application Fee
Application fees are to be paid within two months of the application submission date. In addition, a patent of invention application announcement printing fee, application supplemental fee and, if applicable, the right of priority fee should also be paid along with the application fee. If these fees are not paid in time or in full, the patent application will be voided.
When an application description (including diagrams) is over 30 pages or when a patent request is over ten items, there is an additional application supplemental fee, charged by the page or by the item of patent request.
A right of priority fee is charged according to the amount of items. If it is not paid in time or in full, it will not have the right of priority.

(Renminbi: Yuan)

Novel Use

Practical Use

Creative   Use

Application   Fee

900

500

500

Document   Printing Fee

50

Description   Additional Fee; From pp31 On, per page

From   pp301 On, per page

50

100

50

100

50

100

Patent   Request Additional Fee; From 11th Item On

150

150

150

Right   of Priority Fee; Per Item

80

80

80

(2) Payment Methods
The application fee and other fees can be paid in person at SIPO offices or branches, or by bank or post office transfer payment. Currently, banks use the method of electronic transfer while post offices generally use the method of electronic remittance. When paying application fees through banks or post offices, a payee must fill the correct patent application number or patent number on the remittance slip, while the names of the fees can be abbreviated. The payee should request the post office or bank tellers to record the key payment details on the memo column of the remittance slip. If paying through the post office, the payee should also request the post office worker to note down the complete address, including the postal code. Application fees cannot be directly mailed to SIPO offices.
Regulations Regarding Foreign Applicants of Chinese Patent:
A foreigner is defined as a natural person of foreign nationality or a legal person (corporation) registered abroad according to foreign laws; it includes a foreign natural person, a foreign corporation and other foreign organizations. China’s Patent Law, in principal, recognizes a foreign natural and legal person’s right to register and be granted a patent.
1. Foreigner Who Permanently Resides or Operates Business in China
This mainly refers to foreign natural persons who permanently reside, live and work in China and foreign companies, corporations and organizations that have setup long-term operation in China. China’s Patent Law guarantees permanent foreigner equal treatment and rights to Chinese natural or legal persons, without any conditions or restrictions.
2. Foreigner Who Does Not Permanently Reside or Operate Business in China
There are three possible cases:
(1) A foreign natural or legal person of nationalities that has common application of recognition agreement with China and has a bilateral agreement on patent rights.
(2) A foreign natural or legal person of nationalities that has agreed to participate in a multilateral international common application of recognition agreement in which China is also a participant.
(3) Although not meeting the requirements above, foreign natural or legal person of nationalities that recognize Chinese natural or legal person’s patent application and grant rights in its country, according to the principle of reciprocity, shall receive the same patent application and grant rights in China.

3. To Act on the Behalf of Foreign Applicant
The 2000 Chinese Patent Law’s Article 19 states: “Where any foreigner, foreign enterprise or other foreign organization having no habitual residence or business office in China applies for a patent, or has other patent matters to attend to, in China, it or he shall appoint a patent agency designated by the patent administration department under the State Council to act as his or its agent.” The 2009 Patent Law’s Article 19 is amended to state: “If a foreigner, foreign enterprise, or other foreign organization without a regular residence or business site in China intends to apply for a patent or handle other patent-related matters in China, he or it shall entrust a legally established patent agency with the application and such matters.”
It is clear that the Patent Law nullified the requirement for foreign natural persons, corporations or other organization to deal with patent applications and other patent-related dealings through foreign representative agencies of the state. In reality, this expanded the scope of patent representative agencies’ business. This amendment will significantly increase the amount of non-permanent foreign natural persons, corporations and organizations’ patent applications and other patent-related dealings and their dealings with patent representative agencies.
According to the Patent Law, the patent of invention applications’ procedure for examination and approval includes application submission, preliminary examination, announcement, examination and approval. Practical use and creative use patent applications’ procedure for examination and approval does not include the steps of announcement and examination; there are only the three steps of application submission, preliminary examination and approval. Upon receiving the notice of acceptance, the patent application procedures comes to an end, in which the preliminary examination begins.

Writer: Zhao Huanyu, Hopkins Nanjing Center Certificate 2011-2012
Translator: Joey Feng, Hopkins Nanjing Center MA ’13

作者:赵寰宇

申请中国专利指南

专利是世界上最大的技术信息源,在当今的信息化时代,通过申请专利得到专利授权从而得到法律保护的重要性不言而喻。根据中国国家知识产权局最新数据显示,“十一五”期间,中国专利申请大幅增长,专利申请总量年均增长率达到了22%,发明专利申请年均增长率更是高达24%。从1984年至2010年,我国受理的国内申请人专利申请量已达到585.2万件,国内申请人专利授权量为331.9万件,国外申请人在华专利申请量102.7万件,授权量50.8万件;国内外专利申请人的专利申请量与授权量都在持续增长。近10年来,国外在华专利申请年均增长率超过20%,是全球平均水平的5倍。本文意在为申请中国专利的人员尤其是外国申请人提供指南。
一、一般申请程序
中国的专利法经过2008年的第三次修订后,现行的《中华人民共和国专利法》于2009年10月1日起施行。中国的专利法保护三种专利:发明、实用新型和外观设计。一般可以通过如下程序申请中国专利:
1. 申请前查询
登陆中华人民共和国知识产权局主页,找到专利检索项,可以进行查询,如果没有类似的专利已经获得授权,则可以进行申请。这一步骤之前常常被忽略,事实上在做研究之前最好就做好专利查新的工作,这样才能保证不重复做功,浪费精力。
2. 准备申请文件
按要求准备申请文件,申请发明专利的,申请文件应当包括:发明专利请求书、摘要、摘要附图(适用时)、说明书、权利要求书、说明书附图(适用时),各一式两份。申请实用新型专利的,申请文件应当包括:实用新型专利请求书、摘要、摘要附图(适用时)、说明书、权利要求书、说明书附图,各一式两份。申请外观设计专利的,申请文件应当包括:外观设计专利请求书、图片或者照片(要求保护色彩的,应当提交彩色图片或者照片)以及对该外观设计的简要说明,各一式两份。
另外,根据国家知识产权局2004年的规定,可以用电子文件形式提出申请,但注意要事先与国家知识产权局签订《电子专利申请系统用户注册协议》。
3.办理专利申请
申请人申请专利时,可以将申请文件面交到国家知识产权局专利局的受理窗口或寄交“国家知识产权局专利局受理处”收,也可以面交到设在地方的国家知识产权局专利局代办处的受理窗口或寄交“专利局×××代办处”收。
4. 专利申请的受理和受理通知书
专利局受理处或各专利局代办处收到专利申请后,对符合受理条件的申请,将确定申请日,给予申请号,发出受理通知书。一般在一个月左右可以收到国家知识产权局专利局(以下简称专利局)的受理通知书,不符合受理条件的,将收到不受理通知书以及退还的申请文件复印件。
5. 专利申请费用
(1)申请费
申请费的缴纳期限是自申请日起算两个月内。与申请费同时缴纳的费用还包括发明专利申请公布印刷费、申请附加费,要求优先权的,应同时缴纳优先权要求费。未在规定的期限内缴纳或缴足的,专利申请将视为撤回。
说明书(包括附图)页数超过30页或者权利要求超过10项时,需要缴纳申请附加费,金额以超出页数或者项数计算。
优先权要求费的费用金额以要求优先权的项数计算。未在规定的期限内缴纳或缴足的,视为未要求优先权。

(人民币:元)

发明

实用新型

外观设计

申请费

900

500 500

文件印刷费

50

说明书附加费从第31页起每页

从第301页起每页

50

100

50100 50100

权利要求附加费从第11项起每项

150

150 150

优先权要求费每项

80

80 80

(2)缴纳方式
申请费以及其他费用都可以直接向专利局收费处或专利局代办处面交,或通过银行或邮局汇付。目前,银行采用电子划拨,邮局大部分采用电子汇兑方式。缴费人通过银行或邮局缴付专利费用时,应当在汇单上写明正确的申请号或者专利号,缴纳费用的名称可使用简称。缴费人应当要求银行或邮局工作人员在汇款附言栏中录入上述缴费信息,通过邮局汇款的,还应当要求邮局工作人员录入完整通讯地址,包括邮政编码。费用不得寄到专利局受理处。
二、有关外国申请人申请中国专利的规定
外国人是指具有外国国籍的自然人和依据外国法律成立并在外国登记注册的法人,包括外国自然人、外国企业和外国其他组织。中国《专利法》原则上承认外国自然人和法人在我国有申请专利和取得专利权的权利。
1. 在我国有经常居所或营业所的外国人
这主要是指在我国境内长期居住、生活、工作的外国自然人和在我国设有机构、长期营业的外国公司、企业和其他组织。营业所必须是真实有效的。中国《专利法》对这部分外国人给予中国单位和个人完全相同的待遇,不附加任何条件或限制。
2. 在我国没有经常居所或营业所的外国人
这仅限于以下三种情况:
(1)外国自然人或法人所属国与我国签订了共同承认申请并取得专利权的双边协定。
(2)外国自然人或法人所属国与我国共同参加了相互承认申请并取得专利权的国际条约。
(3)虽不符合上述规定,但外国自然人或法人所属国允许我国自然人或法人去该国申请专利并取得专利权,依照互惠原则,我国也允许该自然人或法人在我国申请专利并取得专利权。
3. 外国申请人的代理
2000年《专利法》第19条规定:“在中国没有经常居所或者营业所的外国人、外国企业或者外国其他组织在中国申请专利和办理其他专利事务的,应当委托国务院专利行政部门指定的专利代理机构办理。中国单位或者个人在国内申请专利和办理其他专利事务的,可以委托专利代理机构办理。”2009年《专利法》第19条则修改为:“在中国没有经常居所或者营业所的外国人、外国企业或者外国其他组织在中国申请专利和办理其他专利事务的,应当委托依法设立的专利代理机构办理。中国单位或者个人在国内申请专利和办理其他专利事务的,可以委托依法设立的专利代理机构办理。”
显然,修改后的《专利法》取消了外国自然人、企业或其他组织在中国申请专利和办理其他专利事物必须委托指定的涉外代理机构办理的规定,而代之以应当委托依法设立的专利代理机构办理。这实际上扩大了我国专利代理机构办理专利业务的范围。这一修改,将大大扩大中国没有经常居所或营业所的外国人、外国企业或外国其他组织在中国申请专利和办理其他专利事务时选择专利代理机构的机会,便利了涉外事务的办理。
依据专利法,发明专利申请的审批程序包括受理、初审、公布、实审以及授权五个阶段。实用新型或者外观设计专利申请在审批中不进行早期公布和实质审查,只有受理、初审和授权三个阶段。收到受理通知书后,专利申请阶段的任务就暂告段落,进入初审阶段。

作者:赵寰宇,中美中心证书项目2011-2012


Author: Zhao Huanyu

A Guide to Chinese Patent Application

In the information age, patents are the world’s greatest source of technical information. The importance of legal protection through the granting of patent applications cannot be overstated. According to China’s State Intellectual Property Office’s (SIPO) most recent report, patent application grants increased significantly between 2006 and 2010. The total patent application increased at an annual rate of 22%, while applications of patents for an invention have increased at an annual rate of 24%. Domestic patent applications have reached 5.85 million with 3.32 million of those applications occurring between 1984 and 2010. Both domestic and international patent applications and grants have grown steadily. During the last decade, international patent applicants have grown by over 20% annually in China, which is five times over the international average. This article serves as a guide in the application process for patent grants in China, particularly for foreign applicants.
Application Procedure:
The Patent Law of the People’s Republic of China came into force on October 1, 2009, after its third revision in 2008. Chinese Patent Law protects three categories of patents: novel, creative and of practical use. A typical patent application process would go as followed:
1. Pre-application Inquiry
Entering the SIPO official website, one can search under “Patent Search.” If there are no similar patents that have been granted, one can proceed to the application. This step is often overlooked; however, it is prudent to engage in such an inquiry before undergoing research and development. This prevents any wasted time and energy.
2. Patent Application Documents Preparation
According to the requirements, a patent for an invention application should include these documents: an application request, abstract (with diagrams if applicable), description (with diagrams if applicable), and patent claims. Submit two copies of each document. In applying for a patent for design, the application shall include: an application request, drawings or photographs of the design (for patents involving colors, colored drawings or photographs), and a concise description of the product design. Submit two copies of each document.
Furthermore, according to SIPO’s regulation in 2004, one can submit applications electronically, but please do be aware of the electronic application user agreement.
3. Patent Application Submission
When applying for a patent, applicants can submit the necessary document to the SIPO office’s patent application filing counter or mail it directly to “SIPO filing office”. Applicants can physically submit the application documents to their local SIPO branch office’s application filing counter or mail it directly to their local SIPO branch’s filing office.
4. Patent Application and the Notice of Acceptance
After a SIPO filing office or its local branch receives patent applications, they will send out a notice of acceptance after confirming application dates and assigning application numbers to applications that meet all the requirements. Typically, a successful applicant should expect to receive SIPO’s notice of acceptance within a month’s time. Applications that do not meet all the requirements will receive a notice of rejection along with a copy of the application documents.
5. Patent Application Costs
(1) Application Fee
Application fees are to be paid within two months of the application submission date. In addition, a patent of invention application announcement printing fee, application supplemental fee and, if applicable, the right of priority fee should also be paid along with the application fee. If these fees are not paid in time or in full, the patent application will be voided.
When an application description (including diagrams) is over 30 pages or when a patent request is over ten items, there is an additional application supplemental fee, charged by the page or by the item of patent request.
A right of priority fee is charged according to the amount of items. If it is not paid in time or in full, it will not have the right of priority.

(Renminbi: Yuan)

Novel Use

Practical Use

Creative Use

Application Fee

900

500

500

Document Printing Fee

50

Description Additional Fee; From pp31 On, per page

From pp301 On, per page

50

100

50

100

50

100

Patent Request Additional Fee; From 11th Item On

150

150

150

Right of Priority Fee; Per Item

80

80

80

(2) Payment Methods
The application fee and other fees can be paid in person at SIPO offices or branches, or by bank or post office transfer payment. Currently, banks use the method of electronic transfer while post offices generally use the method of electronic remittance. When paying application fees through banks or post offices, a payee must fill the correct patent application number or patent number on the remittance slip, while the names of the fees can be abbreviated. The payee should request the post office or bank tellers to record the key payment details on the memo column of the remittance slip. If paying through the post office, the payee should also request the post office worker to note down the complete address, including the postal code. Application fees cannot be directly mailed to SIPO offices.
Regulations Regarding Foreign Applicants of Chinese Patent:
A foreigner is defined as a natural person of foreign nationality or a legal person (corporation) registered abroad according to foreign laws; it includes a foreign natural person, a foreign corporation and other foreign organizations. China’s Patent Law, in principal, recognizes a foreign natural and legal person’s right to register and be granted a patent.
1. Foreigner Who Permanently Resides or Operates Business in China
This mainly refers to foreign natural persons who permanently reside, live and work in China and foreign companies, corporations and organizations that have setup long-term operation in China. China’s Patent Law guarantees permanent foreigner equal treatment and rights to Chinese natural or legal persons, without any conditions or restrictions.
2. Foreigner Who Does Not Permanently Reside or Operate Business in China
There are three possible cases:
(1) A foreign natural or legal person of nationalities that has common application of recognition agreement with China and has a bilateral agreement on patent rights.
(2) A foreign natural or legal person of nationalities that has agreed to participate in a multilateral international common application of recognition agreement in which China is also a participant.
(3) Although not meeting the requirements above, foreign natural or legal person of nationalities that recognize Chinese natural or legal person’s patent application and grant rights in its country, according to the principle of reciprocity, shall receive the same patent application and grant rights in China.

3. To Act on the Behalf of Foreign Applicant
The 2000 Chinese Patent Law’s Article 19 states: “Where any foreigner, foreign enterprise or other foreign organization having no habitual residence or business office in China applies for a patent, or has other patent matters to attend to, in China, it or he shall appoint a patent agency designated by the patent administration department under the State Council to act as his or its agent.” The 2009 Patent Law’s Article 19 is amended to state: “If a foreigner, foreign enterprise, or other foreign organization without a regular residence or business site in China intends to apply for a patent or handle other patent-related matters in China, he or it shall entrust a legally established patent agency with the application and such matters.”
It is clear that the Patent Law nullified the requirement for foreign natural persons, corporations or other organization to deal with patent applications and other patent-related dealings through foreign representative agencies of the state. In reality, this expanded the scope of patent representative agencies’ business. This amendment will significantly increase the amount of non-permanent foreign natural persons, corporations and organizations’ patent applications and other patent-related dealings and their dealings with patent representative agencies.
According to the Patent Law, the patent of invention applications’ procedure for examination and approval includes application submission, preliminary examination, announcement, examination and approval. Practical use and creative use patent applications’ procedure for examination and approval does not include the steps of announcement and examination; there are only the three steps of application submission, preliminary examination and approval. Upon receiving the notice of acceptance, the patent application procedures comes to an end, in which the preliminary examination begins.

Writer: Zhao Huanyu, Hopkins Nanjing Center Certificate 2011-2012
Translator: Joey Feng, Hopkins Nanjing Center MA ’13


作者:赵寰宇

申请中国专利指南

专利是世界上最大的技术信息源,在当今的信息化时代,通过申请专利得到专利授权从而得到法律保护的重要性不言而喻。根据中国国家知识产权局最新数据显示,“十一五”期间,中国专利申请大幅增长,专利申请总量年均增长率达到了22%,发明专利申请年均增长率更是高达24%。从1984年至2010年,我国受理的国内申请人专利申请量已达到585.2万件,国内申请人专利授权量为331.9万件,国外申请人在华专利申请量102.7万件,授权量50.8万件;国内外专利申请人的专利申请量与授权量都在持续增长。近10年来,国外在华专利申请年均增长率超过20%,是全球平均水平的5倍。本文意在为申请中国专利的人员尤其是外国申请人提供指南。
一、一般申请程序
中国的专利法经过2008年的第三次修订后,现行的《中华人民共和国专利法》于2009年10月1日起施行。中国的专利法保护三种专利:发明、实用新型和外观设计。一般可以通过如下程序申请中国专利:
1. 申请前查询
登陆中华人民共和国知识产权局主页,找到专利检索项,可以进行查询,如果没有类似的专利已经获得授权,则可以进行申请。这一步骤之前常常被忽略,事实上在做研究之前最好就做好专利查新的工作,这样才能保证不重复做功,浪费精力。
2. 准备申请文件
按要求准备申请文件,申请发明专利的,申请文件应当包括:发明专利请求书、摘要、摘要附图(适用时)、说明书、权利要求书、说明书附图(适用时),各一式两份。申请实用新型专利的,申请文件应当包括:实用新型专利请求书、摘要、摘要附图(适用时)、说明书、权利要求书、说明书附图,各一式两份。申请外观设计专利的,申请文件应当包括:外观设计专利请求书、图片或者照片(要求保护色彩的,应当提交彩色图片或者照片)以及对该外观设计的简要说明,各一式两份。
另外,根据国家知识产权局2004年的规定,可以用电子文件形式提出申请,但注意要事先与国家知识产权局签订《电子专利申请系统用户注册协议》。
3.办理专利申请
申请人申请专利时,可以将申请文件面交到国家知识产权局专利局的受理窗口或寄交“国家知识产权局专利局受理处”收,也可以面交到设在地方的国家知识产权局专利局代办处的受理窗口或寄交“专利局×××代办处”收。
4. 专利申请的受理和受理通知书
专利局受理处或各专利局代办处收到专利申请后,对符合受理条件的申请,将确定申请日,给予申请号,发出受理通知书。一般在一个月左右可以收到国家知识产权局专利局(以下简称专利局)的受理通知书,不符合受理条件的,将收到不受理通知书以及退还的申请文件复印件。
5. 专利申请费用
(1)申请费
申请费的缴纳期限是自申请日起算两个月内。与申请费同时缴纳的费用还包括发明专利申请公布印刷费、申请附加费,要求优先权的,应同时缴纳优先权要求费。未在规定的期限内缴纳或缴足的,专利申请将视为撤回。
说明书(包括附图)页数超过30页或者权利要求超过10项时,需要缴纳申请附加费,金额以超出页数或者项数计算。
优先权要求费的费用金额以要求优先权的项数计算。未在规定的期限内缴纳或缴足的,视为未要求优先权。

(人民币:元)

发明

实用新型

外观设计

申请费

900

500 500

文件印刷费

50

说明书附加费从第31页起每页

从第301页起每页

50

100

50100 50100

权利要求附加费从第11项起每项

150

150 150

优先权要求费每项

80

80 80

(2)缴纳方式
申请费以及其他费用都可以直接向专利局收费处或专利局代办处面交,或通过银行或邮局汇付。目前,银行采用电子划拨,邮局大部分采用电子汇兑方式。缴费人通过银行或邮局缴付专利费用时,应当在汇单上写明正确的申请号或者专利号,缴纳费用的名称可使用简称。缴费人应当要求银行或邮局工作人员在汇款附言栏中录入上述缴费信息,通过邮局汇款的,还应当要求邮局工作人员录入完整通讯地址,包括邮政编码。费用不得寄到专利局受理处。
二、有关外国申请人申请中国专利的规定
外国人是指具有外国国籍的自然人和依据外国法律成立并在外国登记注册的法人,包括外国自然人、外国企业和外国其他组织。中国《专利法》原则上承认外国自然人和法人在我国有申请专利和取得专利权的权利。
1. 在我国有经常居所或营业所的外国人
这主要是指在我国境内长期居住、生活、工作的外国自然人和在我国设有机构、长期营业的外国公司、企业和其他组织。营业所必须是真实有效的。中国《专利法》对这部分外国人给予中国单位和个人完全相同的待遇,不附加任何条件或限制。
2. 在我国没有经常居所或营业所的外国人
这仅限于以下三种情况:
(1)外国自然人或法人所属国与我国签订了共同承认申请并取得专利权的双边协定。
(2)外国自然人或法人所属国与我国共同参加了相互承认申请并取得专利权的国际条约。
(3)虽不符合上述规定,但外国自然人或法人所属国允许我国自然人或法人去该国申请专利并取得专利权,依照互惠原则,我国也允许该自然人或法人在我国申请专利并取得专利权。
3. 外国申请人的代理
2000年《专利法》第19条规定:“在中国没有经常居所或者营业所的外国人、外国企业或者外国其他组织在中国申请专利和办理其他专利事务的,应当委托国务院专利行政部门指定的专利代理机构办理。中国单位或者个人在国内申请专利和办理其他专利事务的,可以委托专利代理机构办理。”2009年《专利法》第19条则修改为:“在中国没有经常居所或者营业所的外国人、外国企业或者外国其他组织在中国申请专利和办理其他专利事务的,应当委托依法设立的专利代理机构办理。中国单位或者个人在国内申请专利和办理其他专利事务的,可以委托依法设立的专利代理机构办理。”
显然,修改后的《专利法》取消了外国自然人、企业或其他组织在中国申请专利和办理其他专利事物必须委托指定的涉外代理机构办理的规定,而代之以应当委托依法设立的专利代理机构办理。这实际上扩大了我国专利代理机构办理专利业务的范围。这一修改,将大大扩大中国没有经常居所或营业所的外国人、外国企业或外国其他组织在中国申请专利和办理其他专利事务时选择专利代理机构的机会,便利了涉外事务的办理。
依据专利法,发明专利申请的审批程序包括受理、初审、公布、实审以及授权五个阶段。实用新型或者外观设计专利申请在审批中不进行早期公布和实质审查,只有受理、初审和授权三个阶段。收到受理通知书后,专利申请阶段的任务就暂告段落,进入初审阶段。

作者:赵寰宇,中美中心证书项目2011-2012

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