Paper patent certificates are in the rear-view mirror, revealed in the recent No.349 circular of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). Via the patent e-filing system, CNIPA will only issue electronic certificates to e-applications filed after March 3, 2020 (inclusive).
Users in need of a paper certificate may request one at the patent e-filing site (http://cponline.cnipa.gov.cn). Another matter of business for change laid out in the circular is the seal of a notification proclaiming CNIPA’s reception of a patent application, with the switch from CNIPA patent reception seal to CNIPA patent examination seal, in effect from February 17, 2020.
In addition, also from February 17, 2020, CNIPA’s patent office, receiving branches nationwide and local governments’ IP protection centers, rapid right enforcement centers will cease handing out paper-form office actions and decisions of e-filing applications. For those electronic office actions and decisions already issued but unsealed electronically, the interested registered users may request having them electronically sealed and downloaded from the said e-filing site. Users may also verify the authenticity of any e-sealed patent certificate, office action or decision at the same site. Relevant walk-through procedures and guide for verification can be found in the site’s Help section.