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Monday, February 19, 2007

Patent Application Grant - Success Rate

I was working before the holiday to update our 'sales material'. I have checked the government information related to the HK Government Patent Application Grant, here is some highlight:

The grant was commissioned in 1997 and started the acceptance of application on Apr 1, 1998, since then, an average of 172 applications per year were received, up to Mar 31, 2006, a total of 1374 applications were received. Out of which 546 applications were approved. The status of the Grant as of 2006 is here.

We are lucky to get involved with some of these lucky applicants and our success rate to get the grant is higher than average. Needless to say, it would be helpful to get professional help to fill up forms and prepare documents about the invention.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year starts on Feb 18 Sunday. Hong Kong office starts its holiday from 17 and we are supposed to have early break yesterday. However I have a very late meeting yesterday and lasted for more than 3 hours. Crazy ideas were discussed and we have to start some serious work after holiday. China uses week long holiday to promote domestic spending, so I cannot get hold of my agent friend in China before Feb 26.

I can use some time to do some writing.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Applications from China enter in PCT

I was browsing the web, checking for news. Just read from SIPO of PRC that in 2006, China is the 8th in term of applications for entering into PCT from China. The actual number was 3910, which is an increase of 56.8% over 2005.
I have been telling our clients to make use of PCT to extend the time for them to consider whether to apply patent in other countries, and China provides a cheaper alternative when doing local and PCT application. This is good that China provides such a major increase and create more business for patent attorneys in China.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Utility Model in China

You learn new things everyday. Recently I came across more than one person talking about Utility Model in China. In the recent years, for domestic Chinese who apply for patent, number of applications for Utility Model was more than Invention in the year 2006. However, for foreign applicants, more than 85% of applications were for Invention.
In case you dont know, there are three types of patent in China: Invention, Utility Model and Design.
The one I just learnt in the past week: When filing for Invention Patent, we can also file the Utility Model. Firstly, law will not allow you to own two patent for the same invention, so technically, when the Invention Patent is granted, say, 3 years after application, then you have to withdraw the Utility Model patent. Then why you want to do it?
Say two applications were filed at the same time for the same invention in 1st February 2007. The Utility Model patent will be granted in one year time, say 1st February 2008. With that patent certificate, you can go out protecting your patent right. Three years later (starting from today), the Invention patent is granted in 1st February 2010. You throw away the Utility Model patent certificate, and start using the Invention patent certificate to protect your right. So you buy two years of protection by the Utility Model.
What is the cost? Quite small as compare to other things. Cost of drafting is zero for Utility Model as you file the same copy as the Invention. Filing fee including service charge is small compared to Invention patent.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Bloom of IP business in China

Our firm have quite some works in January, including a few deadlines towards end of January. We got some forms filled and search report answered, some applications filed.

Then we have 5 new inventions in a 2 hours meeting with the client. So I started looking for one more agent firm in Shenzhen. In 2002 there were less than 10 patent attorney firms in Shenzhen, now there are more than 30. Some of the new one are actually started in recent years or months, and they are hunger for business. This is good for pricing but may be bad for quality. I heard that some drafting work were not done professionally and there were a lot of requisition later on, and now the effect is becaming serious, as these new firms have been operating for more than 1 year now.

However most of the raise in patent applications are utility model for domestic applicants.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

HKSAR Intellectual Property Department Open Day

The Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department is going to have an Open Day on 9 Feb this week, however, I only knew this from one of an association as a member. In the official web site of IPD, this event was not listed.... Well, that seems a good invitation to this event.