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China Amends Patent Agency Regulations

As of 1 March 2019, any person or entity may apply for a patent or appoint a patent agency to act on their behalf, while patent attorneys and agencies will face the threat of disbarment as a result of any instances of malpractice.

The new rules were revealed by the State Council on 19 November 2018 in its amended Regulations on Patent Agency. Essentially, the Regulations aim to improve the practice access system for patent attorneys and agencies, as well as the practice standards and the oversight of services. In accordance with the new regulations, unless otherwise provided for by law, any entity or individual may apply for a patent and handle other patent-related matters on the mainland or may commission legally-established patent agencies to handle such matters.

The Regulations also clarify the codes of conduct for patent agencies and patent attorneys, as well as their corresponding legal responsibilities. For example, a patent agency that discloses the details of a client’s invention, or a patent attorney who applies for a patent in his or her own name will now face the possible revocation of their business licence or patent attorney certificate.

For further details (in Chinese), please access the following links:

Decree No. 706 of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China

Full Text of the Amended Regulations on Patent Agency Released

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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