As outlined in our previous post, on June 1, 2021 the Fourth Amendment to the Chinese Patent Law came into effect, allowing partial claiming in design patent applications. Until this past May, examination of most Chinese partial claim design patent applications had been held up by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (“CNIPA”), since the CNIPA had not published formal Examination Guidelines for partial design claiming. While formal Examination Guidelines have still not been published, the CNIPA has recently been issuing Office actions rejecting certain partial designs for failing to form a “relatively independent area” or a “relatively complete design unit” of a product. Since unclaimed broken lines can only be converted to solid lines (and vice versa) within two months from the Chinese filing date, a rejection indicating that the design fails to form a relatively independent area or a relatively complete design unit on a product can possibly mature into an incurable defect.Continue Reading Navigating Partial Design Rejections in China
Greg focuses his practice on all aspects of design and utility patent prosecution, assisting clients with preparing and prosecuting domestic and international patent applications.
This article supplements our previous post with updated 2021 data.
U.S. design patents continue to grow in popularity. Although 2021 saw a slight downtick in the number of issued design patents compared to the previous two years—most likely caused by lower filings during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic—the number of U.S. design patents that issued in 2021 was still greater than the number of U.S. design patents that issued in each year between 2012-2018, and was more than 50% greater than the number of U.S. design patents that issued in 2012. With the number of U.S. design patent examiners also increasing, we expect the number of issued designs in 2022 to outpace 2021 and possibly set a new annual issuance record.
Continue Reading Recent Trends in Article of Manufacture of Design Patent Claims: GUIs Remain King
On October 17, 2020, the Chinese Legislature passed the Fourth Amendment to the Chinese Patent Law, which will come into effect on June 1, 2021. As discussed in our previous post, the Fourth Amendment included several updates that help move Chinese Design Patent Law toward harmonization with the laws of most major markets. As June 1st quickly approaches, the article below highlights and expands upon some of the major updates coming to Chinese Design Patent Law.
Continue Reading A Quick Dive Into the Upcoming Changes to Chinese Design Patent Law