SIPO Publishes Draft Fourth Revision of Chinese Patent Law

The State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) recently published the Revision of the Patent Law of China (Draft for Comments) to invite feedback from different sectors of the society.  
This draft of the fourth revision of the Chinese Patent Law focuses on improving the existing patent protection mechanism of China in five aspects as related to protection of legal rights of patent owners, exploitation and application of patent rights, roles of patent administration departments, patent examination system, and patent agency.
Noteworthy among the changes is the creation of a Chapter 8 on exploitation and application of patents, which includes the following content:
•     specify exploitation and application of patents as responsibilities of patent administrative departments of various levels;
•     grant a service inventor the right to enter into agreement with the entity he serves on exploitation of the patent for his service invention-creation;
•     provide for commitment license;
•     provide for implied licensing of standard essential patents; and
•     establish the legal status of patent pledges by registration.
In respect of patent protection, another focus of the draft revision, Chapter 7 contains the following changes:
•     establish the legal effect of mediation agreements;
•     entitle the patent administration departments to the right of compulsory execution of confiscating and destroying infringing
•     extend administrative penalties to willful infringing acts of group infringement and repeated infringement;
•     specify the procedures subsequent to the publication of an examination decision on the request for invalidation;
•     specify patent evaluation reports as mandatory evidence for adjudication and disposition of patent infringement disputes;
•     introduce rules on proof of evidence to facilitate determination of the amount of damages;
•     increase the penalties of patent passing off, and
•     apply punitive compensation to patent infringement.
In addition, the draft revision also makes some changes related to design patent protection to prepare for China's accession to Hague Agreement Concerning International Registration of Industrial Designs, such as providing for the protection of partial designs, allowing for claims of priority of prior domestic design applications, and extending the protection term of design patents in China from 10 years to 15 years from the date of filing.