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Five important types of patent time limits in China
date: 2019-03-22 Wang Bo Read by:

When applying for patent application and process legal procedures, the applicant must submit relevant documents within the prescribed time limit and, if necessary, pay the fees within the prescribed time limit. If the applicant delays the deadline for processing, it will be punished accordingly and may even lose the patent right. Therefore, the time limit is very important for patent applications. Below I will list five important types of time limits for the reader's reference.

Time limits related to Priority

If the applicant files the patent application in China within 12 months from the date of the first filing of the patent application, the applicant may claim the priority.

For international patent applications entering into China through the PCT method, the procedures for entering the national phase of China shall be handled within 30 months from the priority date. If necessary, the entry period can be extended to 32 months from the priority date by paying the recovery fee.


Time limits related to substantive examination

For invention patents, the applicant shall file a substantive examination request within 3 years from the filing date or priority date.

The applicant may make a voluntary amendment for the patent document at the time of filing the substantive examination request or within 3 months after entering the substantive examination.

For international patent applications that require a quick examination through the Patent Prosecution Highway, an opportunity for voluntary amendment is required to amend the claims to be consistent with the allowed claims in another country.

Time limits related to the response of the Office Action

For the invention patent, the applicant needs to submit a response within 4 months after receiving the first Office Action. After the applicant receives the second Office Action or the subsequent Office Actions, he needs to reply within 2 months.

For utility models, applicants need to respond within 2 months after receiving the Office Action or the Notification of Making Rectification.

If the applicant is dissatisfied with the rejection decision, he may file a request for reexamination to the Patent Reexamination Board within 3 months from the date of receipt of the rejection decision.

Time limits related to divisional application

The applicant shall file a divisional application within 2 months from the date of receipt of the notification of the grant of the patent right.

For applications that have been rejected, the applicant may file a divisional applicant within 3 months from the date of receipt of the rejection decision.

The applicant may also file a divisional application after the request for reexamination and during the administrative proceedings against the reexamination decision.

Time limits related to recovery of the patent right

Within 2 months after receiving the notice of withdrawal, the applicant may reinstate the patent right after submitting a request for recovery of the patent right and paying the fee.

The time limit is an important feature of patents. Understanding the various time limits of patents and using them flexibly can be very helpful for filing patent applications.

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