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Newly Revised Regulations of Patent Agency Released

    Source: China IP News

    With Chinese Premier Li Keqiang putting his name on the dotted line of a State Council order, the newly revised Regulations of Patent Agency is officially announced to the public and will be in force from March 1, 2019.

    The outgoing version of the Regulations, promulgated in 1991, has made positive impact on regulating the patent representation business and driving the development of the patent community as a whole. With the constant improvement of the Chinese socialist market economy, a no small number of changes have taken place in the patent representation business. The revised Regulations coined new requirements in professional qualifications, professional conducts and service supervision in a bid to accommodate these changes.

    New qualification requires a Chinese citizen with a junior college degree or above in science or engineering may attend the national exam for becoming a patent attorney. Those who pass the test will be issued a license of patent attorney and may commence practice after meeting other statutory requirements.

    Changes also take place in establishment of a patent agency. A patent agency may only be shaped in the form of partnership or limited liability company (LLC). Other statutory requirements shall be met before rendering an application to the competent patent authority under the State Council for approval of operation. The said authority shall make an approval (or not) decision within 20 days after receiving the application.

    Professional conducts and supervision of services offered by these professionals or their agencies are improved. According to the new Regulations, any organization and individual may file a patent application and handle any patent-related matters either by itself, or by entrusting a lawfully-established patent agency. Attorney fees charged by patent agencies shall follow the principles of free will, fairness and good faith, factoring in both economic and social benefits. Professional conducts and consequential legal liabilities of patent agencies and patent attorneys are further specified. Patent agency association shall exact heightened self-disciplinary actions on its members. Competent patent authorities are required to upgrade its services, improve its methods of checking and overseeing, enhance during-and-after supervision.