Revised Patent Agency Regulations Come into Effect2019-03-06

The outgoing Patent Agency Regulations (referred to Regulations) had been in play for 28 years. On January 1, the newly revised Regulations took over. The revision follows the requirements of the "delegating power and optimizing services" reform and the need to improve the business environment, stimulate market vitality and social creativity and improves the patent agency system based on the changes in the patent agency business.

"In 2008, the requriements for founding a patent agency in China were relatively rigid and the procedures were rather cumbersome," Chen Hao, a veteran patent agent and general manager of Zhengzhou Ruixin Intellectual Property Agency, recalled that there was an experienced and capable patent attorney in his firm, who was forced out of the agency's boardroom because of the Regulations' 65-years-old-bar for partners or shareholders.This time the Regulations makes changes in partners, shareholders, patent agent qualifications and years of practice, and relaxes the restrictions on organizational form of patent agencies.

In addition, the revised Regulations simplifies the examination and approval system for the establishment of patent agencies, replacing the original examination and approval for the establishment of patent agencies with the examination and approval for entering into patent agency business, cancelling the preliminary examination at the provincial level and reserving only the scrutiny by the patent administration department under the State Council.

There are still many contents in the revision of the Regulations that dedicate to improve the quality of patent agency work. "The outgoing Regulations lacked transparent management of public information of patent agencies," said Chen Hao, adding that with the continuous advancement of market-intervention-only operation of the patent agency business, some firms have made exaggerated and false publicity in order to gain market recognition. But due to the lack of disclosure of public information of patent agencies, it is difficult to take on and curb these unscrupulous acts.

Accordingly, Article 23 of the revised Regulations adds the contents of information disclosure of patent agencies, providing that the patent administration department of the State Council and the departments in charge of patent work at the provincial level should publish the information of the practice of patent agencies and patent agents. According to Tao Xinliang, dean of School of IP, Dalian University of Technology, the revised Regulations regulates information publicity and provides inquiry services for the public to optimize the patent agency industry and improve industry efficiency.

By the end of 2018, there were a total of 18,668 patent agents and 2,195 patent agencies. The patent agency industry has gained a good momentum. After the implementation of the revised Regulations, the patent administration departments of various places have been doing solid work preparing for its execution.

Source: China IP News

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