Brief Introduction of Chinese Utility Model Patent

- 2015-10-09

1. Definition of Chinese utility model:

Utility model means any new technical solution relating to the shape, the structure, or their combination, of a product, which is fit for practical use.


2. Patent term:

A Chinese utility model patent has ten years patent term, running from the Chinese filing date, or international filing date for a national phase application based on a PCT application. The ten-year patent term is not extendable.


3. Requirements for claims of Chinese utility model:

The claims of a utility model patent shall describe the features of the shape and/or structure of the product. The claims shall avoid using, as far as possible, any feature of function or effect to define the utility model.


4. Examination procedure:

Normally, there is no prior art search and substantive examination of novelty and inventiveness before grant of Chinese utility model patents, but a formal check of other issues.


5. Chance for voluntary amendment:

After a Chinese patent for utility model application is filed, there is only one chance to make voluntary amendment, that is, within two months from the Chinese filing date.


6. Enforcement and Search Report:

Valid utility model patents can be enforced as effective as patents for invention. But the court may require the patentee to submit the search report/evaluation report which is done by the Patent Office.


7. Take advantages of both patent for invention and patent for utility model:

In order to obtain an enforceable right as early as possible, an applicant can file a utility model and an invention at the same time, and abandon the utility model patent once the invention patent is allowed. For this purpose, the invention patent and the utility model patent must be filed on the same day in China.