China’s Patent Landscape Shifts: Restoration of Priority Claims Now Accepted

By January 4, 2024 News

China is set to revolutionize its patent landscape with the forthcoming implementation of the Detailed Implementing Regulation of the Chinese Patent Law. Scheduled for January 20, 2024, this move signifies a major stride in the evolution of China’s patent application process.

A key feature of the new regulations is the acceptance of the restoration of priority claims. Applicants for Chinese invention patents or utility models will now have the opportunity to restore their claims if filed between 12 and 14 months from the priority date, contingent upon providing a valid reason for the delay.

The flexibility extends to Chinese national applications based on PCT international applications, introducing conditions for restoration after entering the Chinese national phase. The term “sound reason” is employed for justification, with initial indications suggesting a lenient approach by CNIPA, potentially aligning with instances where a simple payment of restoration fees has sufficed.

Notably, the guidelines do not explicitly outline whether CNIPA will favor a “due care” or “unintentionality” criterion for priority claim restoration, setting a more flexible tone compared to European or Japanese standards and bringing it closer to the U.S. approach. As we approach this transformative effective date, McCoy Russell makes note of these changes is hopeful these changes mark a significant step toward fostering innovation and streamlining the patent application process in China.