Some Important Considerations Before Applying For Patent Protection in China

The procedure for obtaining patent protection in China is similar to most countries of the world. Thus, there are two basic routes to take–

• The Paris Convention or direct filing –sets priority date and gives up to 12 months from the priority date to file a corresponding application in China

• The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) – sets priority date and gives up to 30 months from the priority date to file the PCT application into any of the 148 contracting countries, including China. It is advantageous when applicant needs time and funds for purpose of patenting.

But if one chooses the utility model applications in China although it just offers 10 year protection for new technical solutions relating to shape or structure and have the same novelty requirement as a normal Chinese patent application but has certain advantages as follows-

• Its inventive step threshold is much lower

• Its pendency time is much shorter

• A utility model patent can often be obtained within 4-12 months of filing which makes them especially suited for inventions with a shorter lifespan.

• Additionally, official and legal costs for obtaining a utility model patent are about 50% less than that for a regular patent.

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