New year, new resolutions! The CNIPA has recently announced a pilot program that provides Hong Kong applicants the opportunity to expedite their patent applications filed in China. Starting 1 Jan 2023, Hong Kong permanent residents and entities legally registered in Hong Kong can request prioritized examination for their invention patent applications before the CNIPA. To be eligible, the patent application must be:
- an invention application filed directly in China or via national phase entry into China in the substantive examination stage;
- filed electronically;
- the invention belongs to a qualified technical field, such as internet, big data, cloud computing, biotechnology, environment protection, high-end technology manufacturing, new materials, energy conservation, and more—check out this document (Chinese only) to see the eligible IPC codes; and
- the applicant or at least one co-applicant must be (1) a Hong Kong permanent resident or (2) a company established under Companies Ordinance in Hong Kong or a legal entity or organization of other types in Hong Kong.
To request a prioritized examination, the applicant will need to submit a request form along with other required documents to the CNIPA at one of the representative offices in Guangdong or Shenzhen, by mail or in person. Of particular note, applicants must submit information about the existing technology in the field, i.e., known prior art, not unlike an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) in the US. The applicant must appoint an agency to file the request for prioritized examination unless they have a permanent residence or business office in Mainland China.
- Same Day Invention + UM Applications will generally not receive prioritized examination
- All foreign language materials must be translated into Chinese
- There is no charge for this service
- Restrictions may apply
This ability to get prioritized examination is great news for Hong Kong permanent residents and Hong Kong companies. Hong Kong could become a very strategic location for international businesses thinking of setting up an office in Asia, especially if being able to get Chinese patents granted quickly is important. International companies can also consider partnering with Hong Kong entities, since co-applicants including a Hong Kong applicant can also enjoy this new pilot program.
If you think you may be eligible for this “fast track” route and would like some help, please feel free to contact us. Our Shenzhen entity Eagle IP (Shenzhen) is a registered Chinese patent agency and we can assist with applications under this pilot program.
Official details (Chinese only) can be found here: https://www.cnipa.gov.cn/art/2022/12/23/art_53_180967.html
For more details about prioritized examination, feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eagle IP is a top-tier boutique patent firm with a unique mix of experienced US and Chinese patent professionals with significant cross-border knowledge and experience. Our technically expertise covers wide range of technologies including, but not limited, to life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, pharmaceuticals, material and environmental science, chemistry and consumer electronics. We have years of experiences in drafting and prosecuting patent applications involving biological deposits, sequence listings, small and large molecules, drug discovery and development, material science, software and engineering, and many others.
This article is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or a legal opinion on a specific set of facts.
About the Authors
Jennifer Che, J.D. is Vice President, Principal, and a US Patent Attorney at Eagle IP, a Boutique Patent Firm with offices in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Macau.
Audrey Cheung is a Patent Technology Specialist at Eagle IP, a Boutique Patent Firm with offices in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Macau.