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Publications / Attorney Publications

PARTIAL DESIGN/UI PROTECTION

2012-11-01

The SIPO is proposing to amend relevant regulations in the Patent Examination Guideline to protect partial design/UI with design patent.

BACKGROUND
Except China, up to now, partial design (including UI) is an eligible subject matter of design patent for protection in US, Europe, Japan, and Korea. Overseas applicants, like Apple, and domestic communication device manufacturers, are calling for protection of UI with design patent in China. The SIPO is now researching on this topic and planning to amend relevant regulations in Patent Examination Guideline to include UI and other partial design as an eligible subject matter of design patent for protection.

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO GUIDELINE
Ineligible subject matters for design patent protection listed in items (3), (4), and (11) of Section 7.4, Chapter 3, Part I of the Guideline will be deleted. The definition of partial design and the UI will be added. Formality requirements for application of design patent for partial design and UI will be listed. Finally, the standard for invalidating a partial design and UI will be detailed.

BENEFITS TO CLIENT

This is a huge change that will influence dramatically the landscape of the design patent protection in China.

We are keeping close watch on this change for our clients. We are going to host a seminar for this topic by inviting relevant experts from the SIPO, and keep our clients updated with the progress.