On August 1, 2012, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of China enacted a new administrative measure to prioritize examination of invention patent applications.

The new measure aims at expediting invention patent applications that are not eligible for expedited examination under any of the bilateral/multi-lateral PPH programs. The new measure stipulates that an office action should be issued within 30 working days from the acceptance of prioritized examination, and that a decision for the expedited application should be made within one year. Eligible invention applications that may apply for prioritized examination include the following:

  1. Applications directed to technologies involving energy conservation and environmental protection, new generation information technology, biology, high-end equipment manufacturing, alternative energy technology, new materials, and alternative energy automobiles;
  2. Applications related to innovations involving low carbon emissions, and green technology for minimizing natural resource use;
  3. An application involving the same invention that is first filed in China and then filed in other countries or regions; and
  4. Applications directed to other inventions that are significant to the national or the public interest.

We will observe how the new measure is implemented by the SIPO and will provide updates in due course.