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China Design Patent Application Guide

Updated:2018-9-3 17:29:38    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:228

China design patent application is one way to protect your patent right in the country. In China, copyright and design patents serve two distinct functions: copyright protects the physical expression of an idea, whereas a design patent protects the aesthetic features of an industrial product. Different aspects of the same product may be covered by these different types of intellectual property rights (IPR). For example, the external appearance of an electric razor may be protected by a design patent whereas the instruction manual, packaging and marketing materials are covered by copyright.

Moreover, there are two additional types of patents that protect the functionality of a product or a method: the invention patent and the utility model (sometimes known as a mini-patent due to the shorter protection term and less comprehensive examination procedure). Below is a brief comparison between the three types of patent.

How to Register a Design Patent in China
Design patent applications in China should be made to the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) and must be made in Chinese. It is recommended that you carefully choose a patent agent or attorney to support this process. The importance of Chinese language accuracy is very high as it is the value of experience in filing patent: knowing what the examiner would like to see and what common mistakes can lead to a rejected application.

The entire process takes around six to eight months if there are no significant delays. In the application, other than name, nationality and address of the applicant(s) and designer(s), title of the design, and drawings/photos (known as views) of the design itself, a brief description of the design including the following must be provided:

1. Name of the product.
2. Use of the product, which determines the class of the product and the scope of protection.
3. Indication of the essential design feature(s), that is, the major difference(s) of the design from any prior designs patents.
4. A drawing or photograph for publication when the design patent is granted.
5. Specifics of the colour used, if colour is claimed.
6. Other additional information required. Seek advice from your patent agent or attorney on what additional information will add value to your application.

Once the application has been accepted and found to include all relevant information it will be passed to preliminary examination (about one to two months after it is filed). Although no patentability searches will be carried out during preliminary examination (the examiners will not check that the patent is novel), Chinese examiners are sensitive to defects in design drawings which could delay or even prevent the granting of the patent. The following is the design patent application flow chart.

Contact Us
If you have further inquires, please do not hesitate to contact Tannet at anytime, anywhere by simply visiting Tannet’s website, or calling Hong Kong hotline at 852-27826888 or China hotline at 86-755-82143512, or emailing to You are also welcome to visit our office situated in 16/F, Taiyangdao Bldg 2020, Dongmen Rd South, Luohu, Shenzhen, China.

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