Administrative Measures on Prioritized Examination of Invention Patent Applications

Order No. 65 of the State Intellectual Property Office
(promulgated on 19 June 2012 and implemented on 1 August 2012)

Article 1  The Measures are formulated in accordance with relevant provisions of the Patent Law of the People's Republic of China and Implementing Regulations thereof for the purposes of facilitating and fostering the optimization of industrial structure, the implementation of the national intellectual property strategy, and the development of an innovative nation.

Article 2  Where the State Intellectual Property Office (“SIPO”) conducts prioritized examination on an eligible invention patent application in response to the request of an applicant, it shall close the case within one year from the date of acceptance of the request for prioritized examination.
 
Article 3  Prioritized examination conducted according to bilateral or multilateral agreements entered into by SIPO with other national or regional patent offices shall be governed by relevant provisions and shall not be applicable to the Measures.
 
Article 4  Invention patent applications that are eligible for prioritized examination include:
 
(1) Important patent applications relating to technical fields covering energy saving and  environmental protection, new generation information technology, biology, high-end  equipment manufacturing, new energy, new materials, and new energy vehicles;
 
(2) Important patent applications relating to technical fields favourable to green development such as low-carbon technologies and resources conservation;
 
(3) Patent applications that are first filed in China and subsequently in other countries or  regions with respect to the same subject matter;
 
(4) Patent applications of great significance to national or public interests.
 
Article 5  The quantity of invention patent applications to be accepted for prioritized examination will be determined by SIPO on the basis of examination capacities by technical fields, the volume of patent grants in the preceding year as well as the number of applications pending examination for the current year.
 
Article 6  The requests for prioritized examination of invention patent applications shall be filed electronically.
 
In case the invention patent application for which prioritized examination is requested has not entered into the substantive examination stage, the applicant shall first initiate the substantive examination procedures for the application.
 
Article 7  In requesting for prioritized examination, the applicant shall submit the following documents:
 
(1) Request for Prioritized Examination of Invention Patent Application that is verified, signed and sealed by a provincial, autonomous regional or municipal intellectual property office;
 
(2) Search report in prescribed format issued by a legal entity qualified for dealing with patent search, or search report and examination results issued by a patent office of another country or region and the Chinese translation thereof.
 
Article 8  “Qualified for dealing with patent search” in item 2 of Article 7 refers to the following:
 
(1) Qualified for conducting searches of patent documents and non-patent literature for  search purposes set forth in the Guidelines for Examination;
 
(2) The search personnel have professional and technical expertise with trainings on patent  practice and search;
 
(3) The search on the invention patent application for which prioritized examination is  requested is implemented by those from the relevant art in accordance with corresponding requirements set forth in the Guidelines for Examination.
 
Article 9  SIPO shall be responsible for receiving and reviewing the requests for prioritized examination, and shall notify in a timely manner the applicants of the review results.
 
Article 10  Upon accepting an invention patent application for prioritized examination, SIPO shall handle the application promptly and issue the first office action within 30 working days from the date of acceptance of the request for prioritized examination.
 
Article 11  The applicant of an invention patent application accepted for prioritized examination shall file responses or rectification as soon as practicable. If the applicant makes no responses within the time limit of two months for responses to the office action, SIPO will cease the prioritized examination for the application and treat it as regular application.
 
Article 12  The interpretation of the Measures is vested with SIPO.
 
Article 13 The Measures shall become effective on 1 August 2012.