How to Check and Monitor the Legal Status of Chinese Patent Applications
In recent years, the number of patent applications in China has grown rapidly, and Chinese patent applications have received increasing attention from researchers and business people in various countries. This article will introduce how to check the legal status of Chinese patents and how to effectively monitor them.
I. Legal status check
China and Global Patent Examination Information Inquiry (http://cpquery.sipo.gov.cn)
The website is the official website of the China Patent Office. It has a variety of language interfaces to choose from, and can query the application and examination information of China, Europe, Japan, Korea and the United States.
The data for general users is updated every 5 working days.
Through the website, you can easily check the legal status and payment status of the patent applications. You can browse office actions issued by examiners and the replacement pages of claims submitted by applicants. However, the website did not disclose the applicant's opinion statement.
II. Examination document review
The Chinese Patent Office provides examination document review services. If third parties wish to know the contents of the applicant's opinion statement, he or she may submit a request form for examination document review, and the relevant examination process documents will be copied by the patent office staff. This work can be commissioned by a Chinese agency. It usually takes 7 working days for the examination document review service.
III. Divisional application
When checking the legal status, third parties often also pay attention to any possible divisional application for the target patent application. For the search for divisional applications, the European Patent Office's family search website can be used.
When paying attention to the divisional application of Chinese patent applications, in order to ensure comprehensive and accurate, it is recommended to use Patent Search and Analysis (http://pss-system.cnipa.gov.cn/).
The website is also the official website of the China Patent Office, with a variety of language interfaces to choose from. This website can be used to search and analysis.
Enter relevant information, such as the application number, click “Search”, you can see the “Family” option below the search results page, click to see its family patent applications, including the disclosed division applications.
It should be noted that for the divisional applications, in the websites of all the formal channels currently available at the Chinese Patent Office, only the disclosed divisional applications can be seen, and the undisclosed divisional applications cannot be found.
IV. Other suggestions
1. Monitoring cycle
The examination department of the Patent Office will adjust the examination period of each stage according to the application amount and the processing capacity of examiners. Considering that the time of the examination period and the time of the applicant’s reply cannot be accurately determined, to monitor the legal status, we usually recommend checking the legal status every three months.
2. For undisclosed divisional applications
As mentioned above, undisclosed divisional applications cannot be found from the websites of all formal channels currently available at the China Patent Office.
However, for some important patent applications, undisclosed divisional applications are also of concern to third parties. Timely knowledge of whether or not there is a possible divisional application is very important for third parties interested.
For such undisclosed divisional applications, we may use long-term monitoring because they cannot be known from outside before being disclosed. After the parent application or the divisional application that is pointed out to be lacking unity is not pending (including granted, finally rejected or deemed withdrawal), we usually recommend continuous monitoring for one year.
3. Raise objections
If it is to monitor a competitor's patent application, if there is favorable evidence, third parties should submit a third party opinion as soon as possible. In China, third party opinions are not limited to the time and the number of submissions, and can be submitted anonymously. When it is found that the examination is not favorable to the third parties, the third parties can contact the examiner in time to explain the relevant principles or evidence to the examiner.