SIPO Invites Public Comments on Draft Amendment to Chinese Patent Law 

In line with the 2012 national legislation work plan announced by the State Council of China earlier this year, the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) recently released the Draft Amendment of the Patent Law of the People’s Republic of China (Draft for Soliciting Opinions).

The proposed amendment is well-focused on intensifying patent enforcement in China, and involves Articles 46, 47, 60, 61, 63, 64 and 65 of the current Chinese Patent Law.

Some of the major changes introduced by the draft amendment include: 

  • Reinforce administrative authorities with law enforcement capacity, including the capacity to award infringement compensation and collect evidence, as well as to dispose a case on their own initiative; 

  • Introduce “willful infringement”, which, upon establishment by the administrative authorities or the court, may be ruled up to triple of the damages as determined dependent on the situation, scale, and result of the infringing act; 

  • Strengthen the court’s law enforcement capacity, including investigate and collect evidences such as allegedly infringing goods, accounts books, and data upon the request of the plaintiff; the proposed amendment also states that it is the court’s obligation to conduct investigation and evidence collection upon the plaintiff’s request;

  • Specify the effective date for patent invalidation, as a means to improve the situation of prolonged closing time for infringement cases; specifically, a patent invalidation decision made by the Patent Reexamination Board of SIPO shall take effect immediately after registration and announcement of the decision, giving no consideration to subsequent administrative litigation.

The draft amendment to the Chinese Patent Law is available for public comments until 10 September 2012. Interested parties who would like to reflect their opinions may communicate to SIPO via e-mail (tiaofasi@sipo.gov.cn), fax (010-62086550) or by letter.