New year, new resolutions! The CNIPA has recently announced a pilot program that provides Hong Kong applicants the opportunity to expedite their patent applications filed in China. Starting 1 Jan 2023, Hong Kong permanent residents and entities legally registered in Hong Kong can request prioritized examination for their invention patent applications before the CNIPA. To be eligible, the patent application must be:
1. an invention application filed directly in China or via national phase entry into China in the substantive examination stage;
2. filed electronically;
3. the invention belongs to a qualified technical field, such as internet, big data, cloud computing, biotechnology, environment protection, high-end technology manufacturing, new materials, energy conservation, and more—check out this document (Chinese only) to see the eligible IPC codes; and
4. the applicant or at least one co-applicant must be (1) a Hong Kong permanent resident or (2) a company established under Companies Ordinance in Hong Kong or a legal entity or organization of other types in Hong Kong.
To request a prioritized examination, the applicant will need to submit a request form along with other required documents to the CNIPA at one of the representative offices in Guangdong or Shenzhen, by mail or in person. Of particular note, applicants must submit information about the existing technology in the field, i.e., known prior art, not unlike an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) in the US. The applicant must appoint an agency to file the request for prioritized examination unless they have a permanent residence or business office in Mainland China. Read more