The State Council Legislation Plan for 2018 was released recently.
The Plan specified that, in order to act upon new development philosophy and construct a modern economy system, four drafts of laws including the amended Patent Law would be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) for deliberation while 11 lower-hierarchy Regulations including the Patent Representation Regulation would commence their formulation and amendment.
With the rapid economic and social development in China, strengthening IP protection and improving self-reliant innovation ability has become the inherent need for accelerating transformation of the mode of economic development and implementing innovation-driven development strategy. For adapting new demands for new changes of economic and social development to strengthen IP creation, protection and application, further improvement of the patent law system, solving the outstanding issues in patent protection, effectively safeguarding the legal interests of patent holders, boosting confidence of innovative players in patent protection, and thoroughly stimulating innovation vitality of the society at large, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) launched the preparation work for the fourth head-to-toe amendment of the Patent Law in the second half of 2014 and shaped a draft based on extensively-collected comments. The Draft was later reported to the State Council in July 2015, and was examined by the Legislative Affairs Office (LAO). In December 2015, LAO started its only process of inviting comments from the public and did research on it.
The current Patent Representation Regulation was issued and implemented by the State Council in 1991, and has been playing an important role in regulating patent representation activities and safeguarding the interests of clients. The Requlation needs to be amended to meet the development of society The Regulation was listed on the tier-1 to-do list of the State Council Legislation Plan for five straight years from 2012 to 2016. In February 2016, the State Council issued a decision, eliminating the proceedings of local IP authorities' approval of establishment of a patent firm, a rule under the Patent Representation Regulation. In a bid to avoid any discrepancy between the separately-amended rules as such and the Regulation, the State Council lined up the amendment of the Regulation high on its agenda.