Tuesday, January 30 2024   \  Published by Bird & Bird.

Change to postal rule under Chinese patent practice

Change to postal rule under Chinese patent practice

The State Council of the People's Republic of China announced on 21 December 2023 the decision to amend the Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law of the PRC which will enter into force on 20 January 2024. One of the notable changes is the abolition of the 15 days “postal rule” for documents that are served by electronic means and the impact of this change, and what this means to practitioners and users of the Chinese patent system, is the topic of this note. For context, this change brings practice under the Chinese patent procedure in line with other major patent offices worldwide who have also abolished similar postal rule provisions in light of technological advancements in how communications are delivered between patent offices and applicants or their representatives.

Existing 15 days postal rule for Chinese Patent Applications

Under existing Rule 4 of the Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law of the PRC, where any document is sent by mail by the Chinese National IP Administration (CNIPA), the 16th day from the date of mailing shall be presumed to be the date on which the party concerned receives the document.

For example, when a notification is issued by CNIPA on 1st January 2023 which set a four-month response period, the presumed date of receiving the notification would be 16th January 2023. Therefore, the deadline for filing a response would be 16th May 2023. Read more

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