Today, April 1, SIPO started to solicit public comments on its new draft of Patent Law Amendments The deadline for submitting comments is April 28. The link underlined above includes links to both a comparison of the patent law texts and an explanation of the amendments.
SIPO is now calling this product the work of the fourth comprehensive revision to the Patent Law. (国家知识产权局于2014年启动了专利法第四次全面修改研究工作). SIPO identifies challenges in patent enforcement from prior campaigns. As I anticipated in an earlier blog this year, SIPO may have been making “facts on the ground” through enforcement actions to support these amendments. The introductory comments also reference a National People’s Standing Committee report which identified problems in patent quality, patent protection and commercialization.
Although I expect be commenting further on this draft, readers may wish to look at earlier blogs on patent law revision. A few elements of this release are striking: this is a SIPO revision, not a State Council revision. SIPO does note, however, that patent law revisions are a “number 1” priority for passage by the National People’s Congress. As such, the revisions will ultimately need to be reviewed by the State Council and passed by the National People’s Congress prior to passage during this National People’s Congress; (b) the draft also comes close on the heels of the Science and Technology Achievement Law, which addressed the controversial area of service invention compensation (compensation for employee – inventors). The relationship between these two laws will be interesting to observe. In addition, as noted, SIPO is now directly calling this a “comprehensive” revision; and (c) NPC concerns about patent quality, which SIPO identified, may be part of the reason these amendments are “comprehensive.” Let’s see how they are addressed….
SIPO has also started to solicit public comments on its Examination Measures on Rescinding IC Layout Design Proprietary Right (Draft). The deadline for submitting comments is May 1.