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Patent Law of the People's Republic of China (2008)

( Adopted at the 4th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Sixth National People's Congress on March 12, 1984

Amended for the 1st time in accordance with the Decision of the Standing Committee of the Seventh National People's Congress on Amending the Patent Law of the People's Republic of China at its 27th Meeting on September 4, 1992

Amended for the 2nd time in accordance with the Decision of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress on Amending the Patent Law of the People's Republic of China at its 17th Meeting on August 25, 2000

Amended for the 3rd time in accordance with the Decision of the Standing Committee of the Eleventh National People’s Congress on Amending the Patent Law of the People’s Republic of China at its 6th Meeting on December 27, 2008

The revised Law comes into force on Oct. 1, 2009 )

Application for Patent

Article 26.   Where an application for a patent for invention or utility model is filed, a request, a description and its abstract, and claims shall be submitted.

The request shall state the title of the invention or utility model, the name of the inventor, the name and the address of the applicant and other related matters.

The description shall set forth the invention or utility model in a manner sufficiently clear and complete so as to enable a person skilled in the relevant field of technology to carry it out; where necessary, drawings are required. The abstract shall state briefly the main technical points of the invention or utility model.

The claims shall be supported by the description and shall define the extent of the patent protection sought for in a clear and concise manner.

Where an invention-creation is developed relying on the genetic resources, the applicant shall indicate, in the application documents, the direct and original source of such genetic resources; where the applicant fails to indicate the original source, he or it shall state the reasons thereof.

Article 27.  Where an application for a patent for design is filed, a request, drawings or photographs of the design and a brief explanation of the design shall be submitted.

The relevant drawings or photographs submitted by the applicant shall clearly indicate the design of the product for which patent protection is sought.

Article 28.   The date on which the patent administration department under the State Council receives the application shall be the date of filing. If the application is sent by mail, the date of mailing indicated by the postmark shall be the date of filing.

Article 29.   Where, within twelve months from the date on which any applicant first filed in a foreign country an application for a patent for invention or utility model, or within six months from the date on which any applicant first filed in a foreign country an application for a patent for design, he or it files in China an application for a patent for the same subject matter, he or it may, in accordance with any agreement concluded between the said foreign country and China, or in accordance with any international treaty to which both countries are party, or on the basis of the principle of mutual recognition of the right of priority, enjoy a right of priority.

Where, within twelve months from the date on which any applicant first filed in China an application for a patent for invention or utility model, he or it files with the patent administration department under the State Council an application for a patent for the same subject matter, he or it may enjoy a right of priority.

Article 30.   Any applicant who claims the right of priority shall make a written declaration when the application is filed, and submit, within three months, a copy of the patent application document which was first filed; if the applicant fails to make the written declaration or to meet the time limit for submitting the copy of the patent application document, the claim to the right of priority shall be deemed not to have been made.

Article 31.   An application for a patent for invention or utility model shall be limited to one invention or utility model. Two or more inventions or utility models belonging to a single general inventive concept may be filed as one application.

An application for a patent for design shall be limited to one design. Two or more similar designs for the same product or two or more designs which are incorporated in products belonging to the same class and sold or used in sets may be filed as one application.

Article 32.   An applicant may withdraw his or its application for a patent at any time before the patent right is granted.

Article 33.   An applicant may amend his or its application for a patent, but the a-mendment to the application for a patent for invention or utility model may not go beyond the scope of disclosure contained in the initial description and claims, and the amendment to the application for a patent for design may not go beyond the scope of the disclosure as shown in the initial drawings or photographs.