Patents (China) [Q34]
17. Q£º How to initiate the substantive examination procedure for a patent application for invention?

The application for a patent for invention, in order to be granted, has to go through an examination as to substance (i.e. as to novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability as well as other criteria set forth by the Patent Law and its Implementing Regulations). In general, the substantive examination will not start by itself, but needs to be initiated by the request of the applicant. The request for substantive examination shall be filed at any time within three years from the date of filing or the priority date if a priority right is claimed, otherwise the application shall be deemed to have been withdrawn. When requesting the substantive examination for an application for invention patent which has been filed in a foreign country, the applicant shall furnish the search reports or examination results from one or two main patent offices such as European Patent Office, United States Patent and Trademark Office or Japan Patent Office, if any. Experience tells us that search reports or examination results are adequate, while the documents cited in the search reports or examination results are unnecessary unless requested by the Chinese Patent Office. If the applicant is unable to furnish the required materials when the request for substantive examination is filed, he shall make a statement to that effect and furnish the materials as soon as it is available.

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