In the Draft Fourth Amendments to the Chinese Patent Law released for public comment in end of 2015, SIPO proposes in Art. 2(4) that China should allow partial design to be patentable, which expands the scope of design patent from merely design of a product to partial design of a product. And according to the State Council’s 2017 Legislative Work Plan, revising the Draft Fourth Amendments to the Patent Law is a project to be completed within the year.
It came to our attention that an unofficial survey (at https://sojump.com/m/13469141.aspx?from=singlemessage&isappinstalled=0) was released on April 18, 2017 seeking opinions from private sector regarding protection of partial design and patent evaluation report. This survey is trying to see how introducing partial design to China will affect private businesses in protecting their micro innovation, and whether scope of eligible applicant and timing for applying for patent evaluation report should be changed from private perspective.
We will monitor the development closely and once the Fourth Amendments to the Patent Law is passed, we will be expecting more detailed rules regarding application requirements and scope of protection for partial design in implementation rules and examination guidelines.