SIPO is seeking comments on proposed changes to its Patent Examination Guidelines on GUI

[Arthur Tan-Chi Yuan]

For the first time, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of P. R. China is considering patent protection of graphical user interface (GUI).  On October 22, 2013, SIPO has published a request for comment notice seeking views on its proposed changes to the Patent Examination Guidelines related to GUI as a patentable subject matter of a design patent.  This is part of the ongoing work that SIPO started in March of 2013. 

The foci of the changes are:

A.  Amendments to Part I, Chapter 3:

  1. Amend non-patentable subject matter (section 7.4);
  2. Amend requirements of patentable graphical elements (section 7.2);
  3. Amend requirements of figures or photographs in design (section 4.2);
  4. Add new requirements of brief descriptions in describing the graphical elements (section 4.3);

B.  Amendments to Part IV, Chapter 5:

  1. Add factors in determining obvious distinctions between prior art and applicant's design (section 6.1).

The draft language in Chinese is attached (English translation will be posted shortly).

The deadline to submit the comments is November 22, 2013 and you may submit your comments via one of the four methods below:

  1. Visit www.chinalaw.gov.cn and select from the upper left icon "法规规章草案意见征集系统" and then "部门规章草案意见征集”.  Free registration is required.  (The GUI on that website is available in Chinese only.)
  2. Send email to tiaofasi at sipo.gov.cn
  3. Fax: (+86) -10-62083620.
  4. By mail: Legal and Legislation Department of SIPO, No. 6, Xitucheng Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100088, P. R. China.

(Source: http://www.sipo.gov.cn/yw/2013/201310/t20131025_858722.html, last visited on October 25, 2013).

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