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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 )

Examination and Approval of Application for Patent

Article 34.   Where, after receiving an application for a patent for invention, the patent administration department under the State Council, upon preliminary examination, finds the application to be in conformity with the requirements of this Law, it shall publish the application promptly after the expiration of eighteen months from the date of filing. Upon the request of the applicant, the patent administration department under the State Council publishes the application earlier.

Article 35.   Upon the request of the applicant for a patent for invention, made at any time within three years from the date of filing, the patent administration department under the State Council will proceed to examine the application as to its substance. If, without any justified reason, the applicant fails to meet the time limit for requesting examination as to substance, the application shall be deemed to have been withdrawn.

The patent administration department under the State Council may, on its own initiative, proceed to examine any application for a patent for invention as to its substance when it deems it necessary.

Article 36.   When the applicant for a patent for invention requests examination as to substance, he or it shall furnish pre-filing date reference materials concerning the invention.

For an application for a patent for invention that has been already filed in a foreign country, the patent administration department under the State Council may ask the applicant to furnish within a specified time limit documents concerning any search made for the purpose of examining that application, or concerning the results of any examination made, in that country. If, at the expiration of the specified time limit, without any justified reason, the said documents are not furnished, the application shall be deemed to have been withdrawn.

Article 37.   Where the patent administration department under the State Council, after it has made the examination as to substance of the application for a patent for invention, finds that the application is not in conformity with the provisions of this Law, it shall notify the applicant and request him or it to submit, within a specified time limit, his or its observations or to amend the application. If, without any justified reason, the time limit for making response is not met, the application shall be deemed to have been withdrawn.

Article 38.   Where, after the applicant has made the observations or amendments, the patent administration department under the State Council finds that the application for a patent for invention is still not in conformity with the provisions of this Law, the application shall be rejected.

Article 39.   Where it is found after examination as to substance that there is no cause for rejection of the application for a patent for invention, the patent administration department under the State Council shall make a decision to grant the patent right for invention, issue the certificate of patent for invention, and register and announce it. The patent right for invention shall take effect as of the date of the announcement.

Article 40.   Where it is found after preliminary examination that there is no cause for rejection of the application for a patent for utility model or design, the patent administration department under the State Council shall make a decision to grant the patent right for utility model or the patent right for design, issue the relevant patent certificate, and register and announce it. The patent right for utility model or design shall take effect as of the date of the announcement.

Article 41.   The patent administration department under the State Council shall set up a Patent Reexamination Board. Where an applicant for patent is not satisfied with the decision of the said department rejecting the application, the applicant may, within three months from the date of receipt of the notification, request the Patent Reexamination Board to make a reexamination. The Patent Reexamination Board shall, after reexamination, make a decision and notify the applicant for patent.

Where the applicant for patent is not satisfied with the decision of the Patent Reexamination Board, it or he may, within three months from the date of receipt of the notification, institute legal proceedings in the people's court.