New Procedures Indicate China’s Patent System is Now Focused on Quality, not Quantity, of Patents


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As is often the case in China, a critical change in the IP system has taken place without the publicity of a new law but with an internal administrative document hidden on a government website. With an administrative Circular issued on January 27, 2021, the China IP office is rewriting the rules that led to the massive surge in low-quality patent filings (a/k/a junk patents) by Chinese firms during the last decade, while subtly changing the scope of the statutory rules on the examination of utility models and design patents. The ultimate goal is another implementation of an old Marxist rule, namely, the transformation from quantity to quality.

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