Tuesday, May 25 2021   \  Published by Deep & Far Attorneys-at-law.

PRC Rules for Domestic Priority of Design Patents

The 4th Amendment of the Patent Law of the People’s Republic of China will see some changes to matters concerning Domestic Priority of Design Patents.  According to Article 29 of the current Patent Law, the applicants of invention patents or utility model patents are entitled to claim foreign priority and domestic priority but for design patent applications, the applicant can only claim foreign priority.  This means, in effect, that domestic applicants in China are not allowed to claim the priority of their prior design applications.  In Article 29, Paragraph 2, of the amended law, a domestic priority system for design patent applications will be introduced, and this will level the playing field by allowing domestic applicants to have the same priority as foreign applicants for their earlier design patent applications.  The exact wording is as follows: “…..within six months from the date of filing the first patent application for a design in China, the applicant files with the Patent Administration Department of the State Council an application for a patent for the same subject, he or it may enjoy a right of priority.”  This provision will make it easier for domestic applicants in China to retain the earlier filing dates by claiming priority when, for whatever reason, they decide to abandon their earlier design patent applications and refile new ones on the same subject matter within a 6 month priority period.


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