Comparison Between Invention Patent and Utility Model in China


Dr. Jacqueline Lui and Ms. Yolanda Wang, colleagues at Eagle IP Ltd., were kind enough to share a guest article comparing Invention patents and Utility model patents in China. For convenience, they also included a useful table summarizing the differences between the two processes:

There are two types of patent protection in China. Invention patents have a term of 20 years and may be granted for both methods and products. Utility model patents (similar to a petty patent) may be granted in China for technical solutions that relate to shapes or structures, and have a term of 10 years from the date of filing. Utility model (UM) applications are subjected only to novelty assessment and formality examination. Invention patent applications are subjected to search and examination similar to those conducted in other major patent offices in the world and it will take approximately 3 to 5 years to complete prosecution.

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Results of Managing IP’s 2013 Patent Survey

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Managing Intellectual Property magazine recently published the results of its 2013 “Patent Survey,” which ranks the top firms for prosecution and contentious work in more than 80 countries. As a testament to the quality of our agent network, inovia’s agents in 46 countries were listed in the rankings (many for consecutive years), with agents in 19 countries achieving the highest possible “tier 1” rank.

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Friday Foreign Filing Roundup

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Hello everyone! Take a look at what’s been happening this week in the foreign patent filing space:

  • To date, 25 member countries have signed on the new European unitary patent system.
  • The USPTO has updated its IP Awareness Tool, a great resource for innovators looking to educate themselves on protecting intellectual property.
  • March is already here, and so the countdown begins to March 16th: The Final Chapter of the America Invents Act.
  • China’s one millionth granted invention patent “illustrates progress” for the country’s innovative future.

Are you a solo inventor or small business considering foreign patent protection? Sign up for our free webinar, “International Patenting Strategies “101”, to discuss the PCT process and tips for cutting significant costs at this stage.

inovia Travels: Highlights from the IPBC China

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Earlier this week, several members of the inovia team attended the inaugural IP Business Congress (IPBC) China event in Beijing. The IPBC is hosted by Intellectual Asset Management magazine and inovia has attended previous IPBC events in San Francisco and Lisbon. The IPBC China attracted over 500 attendees from all over the world, representing law firms, corporate IP departments, IP service providers, and IP management firms.

Beijingbooth 2012

Joff Wild, Editor of IAM, gave the opening welcome and the event kicked off with a discussion of “Building IP value,” led by speakers from SanDisk, Novartis Pharma AG, Nokia, the Transpacific IP Group Limited, and Alibaba Group. China is an important market from both a business and IP perspective; PCT applications from China saw 33.4% growth in 2011 with 16,406 applications filed. In this session, the speakers discussed the value of IP from a business, legal and branding perspective, and also discussed the issue of patent quality versus quantity.

“IP has been so critical in our sector for a long time, but the base by which we have monetized IP has changed,” shared Paul Melin, Chief IP office of Nokia. “Monetization is more central now, making our IP more visible to investors.”

Many speakers commented that in order to create IP value, there must be company-wide buy-in.

“It’s not inexpensive to create a meaningful portfolio,” Jim Brelsford, Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President of IP Licensing for SanDisk commented. “In the beginning you need to determine where you need protection and you need to consider the product pipeline. You don’t always know which patent is going to add value down the road, so you need broad buy-in.”

Roger Shang, Chief Patent and Technology Counsel for Alibaba Group shared that IP is not only a defense mechanism but a means for collaboration between different groups, such as the legal department and R&D.

Brand is also a key consideration with thinking about an IP strategy and IP monetization. For Alibaba, launching new products comes with careful consideration about where they fit in with the company’s overall branding strategy, and how that impacts their IP strategy.

Inside China’s leading IP companies

On day two, panelists from China’s leading IP companies gathered to discuss the value of IP and the IP management operations at their companies. The panel included speakers from ZTE, who was the biggest filer of PCT applications in 2011, Goldwind Science & Technology, Simcere Pharmaceutical Group, Founder Group, Baidu, and Datang Telecom Technology & Industry Group.

BeijingIPpanel 2012

For ZTE, Chief IP Officer Haibo Wang commented that IPR is used as a defense mechanism against competitors but also a means for generating return. The company has 80,000 employees and 30-40% of them are in R&D roles, so creating IP is a critical part of their business.

Xuehong Zhang, General Manager of the Legal & IP Department at Datang commented that patent applications are the “starting and ending points” of their business. The company’s IP strategy has been emphasized all the way to top-level management so that the company can share a vision of innovation.

A key question of the panel was how to maintain patent quality in China, since there has been a sharp increase in patent filings in the country.

Wang commented that for ZTE, patent quality is critically important, although he doesn’t view quantity and quality as being contradictory to one another. “Which is more important is determined by the company’s judgment at a given stage in development,” he said.

Xuri Yang, IP Rights and Intangible Capital Director of the Founder Group commented that the country began taking the patent law seriously a little over a decade ago, and that patent development will be a process of evolution over time. He also commented that quality versus quantity cannot be properly assessed without considering a company’s tactics, be them defensive or otherwise.

Finally, the speakers discussed their companies’ relationships with the service providers that they work with.

Park Zhang, Head of Patents at Baidu, said that because their in-house IP department is small, they rely on an outside law firm to conduct a lot of their work. They consider their law firm a partner and want them to share their corporate vision.

Kai Wu, Executive Vice President of Goldwind Science & Technology, also commented that service providers need to constantly increase their skills and competences especially in emerging fields like new energy. Service providers must have expert technical knowledge.

Wang also shared that despite the large size of ZTE’s business, they still require the work of over 20 different outside firms to handle their IP. They look for their outside law firms to have a global vision so that they can help ZTE navigate risk in the global market. ZTE also relies on service providers for patent analysis and management resources.

China IP Champions Gala Dinner

A highlight of the IPBC China was the China IP Champions Gala Dinner, held on Monday night. At the dinner, 33 Chinese companies were honored for their IP management and value creation strategies.

Beijingdinner 2012

With assistance from inovia and Ciela, IAM’s team conducted both qualitative and quantitative research to identify these IP Champions:

aigo Digital Technology Co, Ltd
Alibaba Group
Baidu, Inc
BYD Co, Ltd
Chery Automobile Co, Ltd
China Electronics Corporation
China Kweichow Moutai Distillery Co, Ltd
China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited
China Mobile Limited
China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group)
Datang Telecom Technology & Industry Group
Founder Group
Goldwind Science & Technology Co, Ltd
Gree Electric Appliances Inc of Zhuhai
Haier Group
Huawei Technologies Co, Ltd
Hutchison MediPharma Limited
Lenovo Group Limited
Li Ning Company Limited
Midea Group
Mindray Medical International Limited
Netac Technology Co, Ltd
PetroChina Company Limited
Sany Group
Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited
Simcere Pharmaceutical Group
Tasly Group
TCL Corporation
Tencent, Inc
Tsingtao Brewery Company Limited
XCMG Group
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group
ZTE Corporation

The dinner was a wonderful event and we enjoyed hearing about the achievements of these companies. You can learn more about the research process for China’s IP Champions and get details of the work they have done at IAM’s website.

I really enjoyed the inaugural IPBC China, which marked my first visit to China. The event presented a great opportunity to network and learn about IP from the perspective of leading Chinese companies, as well as the importance of IP as a global business asset.

Friday Foreign Filing Roundup

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The happiest of holidays to all of our friends, family and followers! Here’s a look at what’s been happening in the IP space over the last week:

  • More on the America Invents Act: The final rules have been published to implement the micro-entity status provision in March.
  • WIPO’s 2012 World IP Indicators shows a continued increase in worldwide applications, with China remaining the top filer.
  • The USPTO noted their “physical presence in every time zone” this week,  with more updates on the four new satellite offices.
  • SIPO has reported a 26% increase in domestic patent applications, as well as a 28% increase in patents granted.
  • inovia news: 2012 proved to be a record year for us! Read more >

Friday Foreign Filing Roundup

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Hi everybody! We’ve rounded up the latest in foreign filing and patent news just for you:

We want to hear from you; leave a quick comment below or tweet us at @inoviaIP. Have a good weekend!

Friday Foreign Filing Roundup

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Hello again, everyone! Here’s a look at the foreign filing/patenting news from the week of November 12th:

  • One USPTO director shares her experience visiting the newly-opened (first-of-its-kind) satellite office in Detroit, Michigan.
  • SIPO has reported that a record number of Chinese patent applications have been filed over the last year.
  • More on the America Invents Act: For the first time in the history of U.S. patent law, third parties will be allowed input during the patent examination process.
  • As the EPO rounds out another year of continued growth, leaders take big steps towards improved patent search services.

Do you have any news to share with us? If you’d like, leave a comment below! We tweet at @inoviaIP.

Chinese Intellectual Property News – November 2012

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Take a look at the latest intellectual property developments in China, provided to us by our friends at AFD China:

  • A nationwide survey for the 2013 China Brand Power Index was launched last month as part of a growing effort to protect the IP rights of both foreign and domestic products.
  • The 2012 China International Patent Fair attracted more than 1,700 companies this year, with over 5,700 patents on display.
  • China has become Microsoft’s largest research base outside of the United States.

The inovia team will also be traveling to Beijing in December for the IP Business Congress China.  If you’ll be there, please stop by our booth or contact us to schedule a meeting.

For more information on foreign filing in China:

Chinese Intellectual Property News

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Our colleagues at AFD China recently shared these news pieces from the Chinese Patent Office (SIPO):

Newly revised Measures for Compulsory Licensing of Patent Implementation to come into force

In effect May 1, 2012, the Measures for Compulsory Licensing of Patent Implementation will likely benefit the public interest, especially in the field of medicine. These measures are expected to have a positive impact on compulsory licensing for generic drug manufacturing.

Created in China: The Power of Invention Patents

Image source: SIPO.

The graphs shown above represent the top 10 Chinese provinces and municipalities for which invention patents were granted in 2011. The total inventory of patents surpassed 350,000 and for the first time in China’s history, the number of applications granted by domestic companies exceeded those of the foreign-based companies.

According to a report released by WIPO , China filed over 16,000 PCT applications in 2011, up 33.4% from the year prior. This growth rate was sharper than any other PCT jurisdiction in the world. As of 2011, China is the fourth largest user of the PCT system with its top applicant, ZTE Corporation, publishing over 2,800 applications in the year.

Filing a PCT patent application into China? Click here for country-specific information on the filing process in China and other foreign jurisdictions as well.