The Priority Document Exchange (PDX) agreement will allow the applicant to claim priority in a more timely and cost-effective manner.

The State Intellectual Property Office newly issued a notification that the electronic priority document exchange (PDX) agreement between the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) and European Patent Office (EPO) comes into force on September 3, 2012.

The PDX agreement is part of the EPO-SIPO bilateral co-operation. It provides EPO and SIPO with electronic access to priority documents, and the following cases will be qualified for the service:

  1. Where, an applicant files with SIPO an application for a patent for invention or utility model, and afterwards, files with the EPO an application for a patent for the same subject matter claiming priority from the first filling of the application at SIPO, the EPO will automatically retrieve the copy of the previous application documents from SIPO.
  2. Where, an applicant files with the EPO an application for a patent for invention or utility model, and afterwards files with SIPO an application for a patent for the same subject matter claiming priority from the first filling of the application at EPO, SIPO will automatically retrieve the copy of previous application documents from EPO.
  3. Where the copy of priority documents has been retrieved by SIPO, the copy of previous application documents shall be deemed to have been submitted under Article 30 of Chinese Patent Law. If SIPO cannot retrieve the copy of previous application documents from EPO within the time limit under Article 30 of Chinese Patent Law, SIPO will make an announcement to the applicant, and the applicant is required to file the certified copy of the previous application documents within two month from receiving said notification.

The agreement only applies to an application for a patent for invention or utility model filed on or after September 3, 2012, and does not applies to a PCT application or an application claiming the priority of a PCT application.

The service is offered for free by SIPO.

Comments:

The PDX agreement, by enabling electronic retrieval and transmission of priority documents from an Office of First Filing to an Office of Second Filing, will allow the applicants of a Chinese national patent or utility model or of a European patent application filed on or September 3, 2012 to claim priority in a more timely and cost-effective manner.