To facilitate priority right application by patent applicants and enhance patent examination efficiency, the State Intellectual Property Office (hereinafter, the "SIPO") issued No. 206 Announcement (hereinafter, the "Announcement") on September 29, 2014 to launch the Sino-US priority electronic document exchange services on October 8, 2014. The Announcement is highlighted as follows.
- With regard to applicants who file patent application with the SIPO for the first time and apply to the United States Trademark and Patent Office (hereinafter, the "USPTO") for the same subject matter patent by claiming priority based on such first application, the USPTO will automatically acquire a copy of the earlier application from the SIPO.
- With regard to applicants who file patent application with the USPTO for the first time and apply to the SIPO for the same subject matter patent by claiming priority based on such first application, the SIPO will automatically acquire a copy of the earlier application from the USPTO.
- If the SIPO acquires a copy of an earlier application through the services set forth in the Announcement, it shall be deemed that a copy of an earlier application has been submitted by the applicant in accordance with Article 30 of China's Patent Law. If the SIPO does not obtain a copy of a prior application within the period required under Article 30 of China's Patent Law, the SIPO will notify the applicant in time, and the applicant shall submit a copy of the prior application certified by the USPTO within two months after the day the notice is received.
- The services under the Announcement apply to invention or utility model patent applications filed on or after October 8, 2014 but do not apply to circumstances in which the applicants file international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty or claim priority based on international applications.