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Key developments in relation to new Chinese IP tribunal rule and Chinese patent law amendment

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Recently, there have been some key developments in the intellectual property sphere in China that may be relevant to life sciences clients.  Below we report on the new Chinese IP tribunal rule and an important Chinese patent law amendment.

New Chinese IP tribunal rule

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress previously announced the establishment of the Intellectual Property Tribunal (知识产权法庭, the IP Tribunal) of the Supreme People’s Court (the SPC). The IP Tribunal started its term from 1 January 2019. On 27 December 2018, the SPC released a juridical interpretation to lay the ground rules for the operation of the IP Tribunal entitled the Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Intellectual Property Tribunal.

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Chinese patent law amendment

On 4 January 2019, the National People’s Congress published a draft amendment to the Patent Law (the Amendment, available in Chinese here). The Amendment is open for public comment until 3 February 2019. This note summarizes the important changes to the Patent Law proposed in the Amendment including:

  1. The Amendment would introduce a patent term extension system for certain drug patents to compensate for regulatory delays caused by the National Medical Products Administration (formerly known as CFDA);
  2. The Amendment would extend the term of design patents from 10 years to 15 years calculated from the filing date; and
  3. The statute of limitation for patent infringement would be extended from two years to three years.

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