CNIPA recently issued a public criticism against Hunan province for the abnormal patent applications in 2018. According to CNIPA, 72 patent applications filed during April 2017 and October 2018 by applicants from Yueyang City are identified as abnormal. To rectify the situation, Hunan IP Office gave orders to IP offices at lower levels to straighten funding policies, recovering subsidies and rewards in full amount, and requiring the applicants to withdraw the abnormal patent applications or provided supplementary materials to CNIPA.
“Abnormal patent application” refers to multiple patent applications filed by the same applicant with obviously same content; or multiple patent applications by the same applicant, which obviously copy prior arts or existing patent application(s). Any party inciting others to file such applications and patent agencies representing such applications are also considered as conducting the act of abnormal patent application.
Since late 2018, CNIPA has made a series of criticism against abnormal patent applications in some provinces, and strengthened measures against situations. All-China Patent Attorneys Association also includes the patent agencies and patent attorneys engaged in abnormal patent applications into the blacklist of dishonesty. This fully reflects China’s determination to regulate patent application acts and improve patent quality.