SIPO announces changes to PHH programmes

Introduction

On June 26 2017 the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) announced the latest Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme developments – namely:

  • the relaxation of the PPH requirements regarding some contents in the Patent Cooperation Treaty international work products; and
  • the introduction of a new PPH pilot programme between China and Egypt.

These changes came into effect on July 1 2017, making the PPH programmes more convenient and allowing applicants to accelerate the examination of corresponding Chinese patent applications.

Relaxing PPH requirements

The SIPO has revised its examination requirements of observations and opinions described in Box VIII of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) international work products in the PCT-PPH Programme.

Previously, if there was a written opinion described in Box VIII of the latest international work products (namely, the written opinion of the International Searching Authority, and the written opinion of the International Preliminary Examining Authority or the International Preliminary Examination Report) which forms the basis of a PCT-PPH request, the application would not be eligible for accelerating an examination procedure via the PCT-PPH pilot programme.

As of July 1 2017 an applicant may submit a PCT-PPH request to the SIPO, where the written opinion described in Box VIII:

  • does not relate to the claims that correspond to those in the Chinese application for PPH; or
  • relates only to the defect(s) existing either in the description or drawings.

An applicant may submit a PPH request with the SIPO and indicate briefly why the application complies with the form-filing requirements regarding Box VIII in item 3 (Explanation on Special Items), under Section E (Additional Notes) of the Request for Participation in the PPH Pilot Programme.

Where the applicant fails to give an explanation or the examiner finds that the application does not fall under either of the two circumstances after examination, the request will be rejected.

SIPO-EGYPO pilot programme

The SIPO has signed new bilateral PPH agreements with the Egyptian Patent Office (EGYPO). This two-year programme commenced on July 1 2017 and will end on June 30 2019.

Under the SIPO-EGYPO PPH pilot programme, a substantive examination can be accelerated before the SIPO on the basis of a national work product from the EGYPO.

For further information on this topic please contact Ning Zheng or Xiaoling Duanat WAN HUI DA by telephone (+86 10 6892 1000) or email (mail@peksung.comor duanxiaoling@wanhuida.com). The WAN HUI DA website can be accessed at www.wanhuida.com.

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