SIPO Order No. 68 Amending Guidelines for Patent Examination

[Arthur Tan-Chi Yuan]

The State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) released its Order No. 68 to amend the Guidelines for Patent Examination (equivalent to the MPEP for USPTO) on March 17, 2014 (original text in Chinese here).  The amendments will come into effect on May 1, 2014, same day as the Third Amendments to the Trademark Law.

The amendments are made to the following sections/subsections of the Guidelines for Patent Examination:

  • Part 1, Chapter 3, Section 4.2 (relating to Preliminary examination --> Design patent --> Figures or Photographs)
  • Part 1, Chapter 3, Section 4.3 (relating to Preliminary examination --> Design patent --> Brief description)
  • Part 1, Chapter 3, Section 7.2 (relating to Preliminary examination --> Design patent --> Product shape, drawings or a combination thereof and a combination of color, shape, or drawing)
  • Part 1, Chapter 3, Section 7.4 (relating to Preliminary examination --> Design patent --> Circumstances when design patent is not granted)
  • Part 4, Chapter 5, Section 6.1 (relating to Reexamination --> Examination of design patents during invalidation --> Comparison with identical or similar types of products found in prior art)

Courtesy of the Unitalen Attorneys at Law, the following is a unofficial translation of the amended texts as provided by the Unitalen Attorneys at Law:

Part 1, Chapter 3, Section 4.2

Insert a new paragraph after the third paragraph:

"In respect of the product appearance design including the graphical user interface, the overall product appearance design view should be submitted. If the graphical user interface is the dynamic pattern, the applicant should submit the above mentioned product appearance design view of at least one state. For the rest states, only the view of the key frame should be submitted. The views submitted shall be able to determine the changing trend of the animation in the dynamic pattern solely."

Part 1, Chapter 3, Section 4.3

Insert a new item number 7 after the sixth item:

"(7)For the patent application for the product appearance design including graphical user interface, if necessary, the use of the graphical user interface, the area of the graphical user interface in the product, the human-machine interaction way and states of change and so on should be stated."

Part 1, Chapter 3, Section 7.2

Delete the last sentence of the third paragraph of this section.

Part 1, Chapter 3, Section 7.4

Replace item 11 with the following:

"(11)The game interfaces and the patterns displayed by the product display device independent of the human-machine interaction or the product function realization, such as electronic screen wallpapers, startup and shutdown screens and image-text typesetting of the web pages."

Part 4, Chapter 5, Section 6.1

Insert a new item number 5 after the fourth item:

"(5)For the product appearance design including graphical user interface, if the design of the rest part of the involved patent is a usual design, the graphical user interface will have more significant impact on the overall visual effect."