For some time now, it has been known that the Chinese government provides financial incentives to Chinese nationals and Chinese companies that file domestic and foreign patent, utility model, registered design, and trade mark applications.
The Chinese government, for example, subsidises official fees and attorney fees, offers tax breaks, provides financial support, and issues rewards for patent and utility model utilisation. The idea of this generous arrangement is to increase the awareness of IP in China and to encourage Chinese innovators to learn how to protect their IP. This scheme by the Chinese government has been a major factor behind the rampant increase in IP applications filed by Chinese applicants over the last twenty years.
What is changing?
According to a recent statement issued by China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), CNIPA will push forward a policy to abolish subsidies and rewards for utility model, registered design and trade mark applications.
In addition, CNIPA is seeking to introduce mechanisms to crack down on abnormal patent applications that are only filed to take advantage of the financial incentives offered, and to reduce malicious registration and hoarding of trade marks.
CNIPA is also seeking to expedite the examination period of “high-value patents” to sixteen months, and to reduce the examination period of trade mark applications to four months.
It remains to be seen how the CNIPA’s actions will influence the IP strategies of Chinese applicants, but, when this policy is enacted, it is likely that we could see an immediate reduction in the number of utility model, registered design and trade mark applications being filed by Chinese applicants. However, the CNIPA’s new policy may provoke Chinese applicants into thinking more carefully about their IP strategy, which means that we could see an increase in the quality of utility model, registered design and trade mark applications being filed by Chinese applicants.
If you would like to discuss your IP strategy, or for more information about the various forms of intellectual property protection, please contact us.
This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.