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China Plans to Extend Patent Agency Credit Rating System Nationwide in Administrative Measures for the Credit Evaluation of Patent Agency Draft for Public Comment

On October 8, 2022, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) released the Administrative Measures for the Credit Evaluation of Patent Agency (Draft for Public Comment) (专利代理信用评价管理办法(公开征求意见稿)). The Draft updates and expands the prior trial started in January 2022 that was limited to Hebei Province, Jiangsu Province, Hunan Province, and Sichuan Province.  Potential downgrades have increased for filing abnormal patent applications, especially if the abnormal patent applications causes “major international adverse effects.”  Unfortunately, this Draft doesn’t apply to Chinese trademark agencies, which the US Patent & Trademark Office has been repeatedly sanctioning for fraud, including for using a deceased attorney to file U.S. trademark application documents.

Chinese patent agencies will be awarded letter grades A, B, C, and D with deductions based on negative information such as irregular operation or practice, abnormal operation of the agency, administrative or criminal punishment, industry punishment, etc.:

(1) Grade A is more than 90 points (inclusive) and less than 100 points (inclusive);

(2) Grade B is more than 80 credit points (inclusive) but less than 90 points;

(3) Grade C is more than 60 credit points (inclusive) but less than 80 points;

(4) Grade D is less than 60 credit points. 

 

Points can be added if commended by the government, reporting other agencies that are committing illegal acts, etc. potentially leading to an A+ rating.

 

Those with a Grade D will be subject to increased inspections and supervision. 

 

The filing of abnormal (irregular or fraudulent) patent applications will be subject to up to a 40-point fine potentially leading a borderline grade of C. 

 

1. Those who have been identified as acting for abnormal patent applications and have not yet been punished will be deducted 0.5 points for each case, with a maximum deduction of 20 points;

2. For serious circumstances such as filing a large number of abnormal patent applications, etc., which have not been rectified and has not yet been punished, 10 points will be deducted;

3. If it is verified that an overseas abnormal patent application was applied for, 1 point will be deducted for each case, with a maximum deduction of 20 points; if it has caused major international adverse effects and refuses to withdraw, a maximum deduction of 40 points.
The total of the above three items can be deducted up to 40 points.

40 points will also be deducted if the agency has other irregular business behaviors, causing major adverse effects both internationally and domestically.

Additional deductions for suspicious activities indicated by statistical data are also available, i.e., “if the agency’s filing per capita is obviously higher than the normal level, 10 points shall be deducted each time.”

Further, 20 points will be deducted at one time if it is determined that there are false materials submitted or important facts concealed during patent prosecution.

The full text of the Draft with a table of deductions is available here (Chinese only).  The deadline to submit comments is October 24, 2022.

© 2023 Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 282
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About this Author

Aaron Wininger IP Attorney China Portfolio Development
Director of China Intellectual Property Law Practice Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner

Aaron Wininger is a Principal and Schwegman’s Director of China Intellectual Property. Aaron counsels both U.S. and Chinese companies on portfolio development and preparation of their patent applications and office action responses. He has worked with clients in the areas of software, networks (wired and wireless), lasers, medical devices, semiconductors and physics.

Aaron prosecutes both Chinese and U.S. trademarks. He has also drafted and prosecuted hundreds of U.S. and international patent applications in a broad spectrum of areas, including computer hardware and software, the...

408-278-4059
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