CNIPA (China National Intellectual Property Administration) issued an announcement regarding the revision of the Guidelines for Patent Examination on September 23, 2019. The purpose of this revision is to respond to the new appeals of the innovative subjects for the examination rules and examination modes and to improve the patent examination quality and examination efficiency. This revision relates to a variety of issues in aspects of patent application and patent agency. The revised Guidelines for Patent Examination will enter into force on November 01, 2019.
- Comments on the inventive step of a patent are emphasized.
Actually, this revision does not substantively revise the provisions on the inventive step, but puts more emphasis on the following contents:
When the inventive step is assessed using a three-step method, it is emphasized in the second step of determining the technical problem actually solved by the invention that the technical problem actually solved by the invention is determined on the basis of the technical effect that can be achieved by the distinguishing technical features in the present invention, and then it is determined in the third step whether the effect achieved by the distinguishing technology in a reference document is identical to the technical effect achieved by the distinguishing technology in the present invention. Thereby it can be determined that whether the prior art provides a technical teaching in solving the technical problem of the present invention.
It is emphasized that the interrelationship of technical features may also bring about the inventive step.
The technical features which make contributions over the technical problem of the claims, i.e., the invention points of the present invention, or key features to solve the technical problem claimed by the applicant or the technical problem redetermined, shall not be determined as common knowledge by only stating reasons. Usually, evidences of common knowledge shall be provided.
- Significant revisions are made to the time of filing a divisional application, and the applicant and the inventor of the divisional application.
The newly revised Guidelines for Patent Examination limits the so-called unlimited divisional applications, clarifies the time of and basis for filing the further divisional application of the divisional application, and specifies that: where another divisional application is filed by the applicant according to the Office Action made by the examiner due to the Notification to Make Divisional Application issued by the examiner or a unity defect in the divisional application pointed out in the Office Action, the submission time of filing another divisional application shall be examined according to the divisional application involving the unity defect. Where the above provisions are not complied, no divisional application is filed on the basis of the divisional application.
Regarding the applicant and inventor of divisional application, the applicant of a divisional application shall be the same as that of the initial application when the divisional application is filed. The applicant who files another divisional application derived from a divisional application shall be the same as the applicant of the divisional application. And, the inventor of a divisional application shall be the inventor or part of the inventors of the initial application. The inventor who files another divisional application derived from a divisional application shall be the inventor or part of the inventors of the divisional application.
III. Application requirements for the graphical user interface product design are subdivided.
This revision involves following rules regarding subdivision of the graphical user interface product design:
The graphical user interface design protects the design of a product, so the title shall indicate the product to which the design is applied and, at the same time, indicate the main purpose of the graphical user interface.
It is specified that the drawings or photographs of the product to be submitted may be simplified. If the protected content merely lies in the graphical user interface, it is not necessary to submit six-side views of the product, and only one orthographic projection view of the display screen panel containing the graphical user interface is submitted. At this point, it is necessary to exhaust the final products to which the display screen panel of the graphical user interface is applied in the brief explanation. However, the drawings and photographs of the graphical user interface itself shall meet the general requirements of the design, and the essential features of the design of the graphical user interface shall be clearly displayed. For a dynamic graphical user interface, the title thereof shall include “dynamic”. Only views of key frames of the graphical user interface are submitted as variable state views, whereas the submitted views must be able to uniquely determine the complete change process of animations in the dynamic patterns. In addition, the sequential order of the views shall be marked, and the change process is explained in the brief explanation if necessary.
- A deferred examination system is introduced for specifying the system of prioritized examination.
This revision introduces a deferred examination system, and the applicant may requests a deferred examination for patent applications for invention and design according to their own needs. The request for a deferred examination for a patent for invention shall be made by the applicant when a request for substantive examination is made. However, the request for a deferred examination for a patent application for invention shall take effect from the effective date of the request for the substantive examination, and the request for a deferred examination for a design shall be made by the applicant when filing the application for design. The deferred period is one year, two years or three years from the date on which the request for a deferred examination is effective.
Please note that only the examination instead of the publication of a patent application for invention is deferred. For the subjects who wish to obtain the patent right as soon as possible, they may apply for an examination with priority, and the specific circumstances are stipulated in the Measures for the Administration of the Prioritized Examination of Patents. However, where an applicant files on the same day applications for both patent for utility model and patent for invention relating to the identical invention-creation, the patent application for invention shall not be examined with priority, because if the utility model is examined with priority, there is no need to waste the resources of a prioritized examination to examine the patent for invention.
- The scope of embryonic stem cells of human beings where a patent right shall be granted is broadened.
This time, the biological field is significantly revised, and China’s rules in this field may be moderately looser than those in the world. That is, it is believed that an embryonic stem cell of human beings does not pertain to human body at the various stages of its formation and development. There is a possibility that the relevant inventions using human embryos that are not developed in vivo and have been fertilized for less than 14 days to isolate or obtain stem cells can be patented, which is undoubtedly of great benefit to relevant biotechnological enterprises.