CNIPA and EPO Enhance Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

Release time:2019-12-06

Source: China IP News

Recently, at their annual meeting in Suzhou, the Commissioner of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), Shen Changyu, and the President of the European Patent Office (EPO), António Campinos, agreed to enhance their bilateral cooperation in the framework of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).The aim is to give patent applicants filing an international patent application in English at the CNIPA as Receiving Office the choice to opt for the EPO as their International Searching Authority (ISA).

It is expected that this new option will be offered in the course of next year, and be implemented as a two-year pilot programme. 

CNIPA Commissioner Dr Shen Changyu said:"EPO and CNIPA are comprehensive strategic partners. For more than 30 years, the two offices have maintained a long-term and close co-operative relationship. The fruitful cooperation results greatly benefited users and the public both in Europe and China. The two offices reached consensus on the designation of EPO as an ISA option for the PCT international patent application filed in English at the CNIPA as Receiving Office. It will further benefit PCT applicants in China and even around the world. It is also a solid step for China to further step up its international cooperation on IP protection. "

For Chinese applicants, this step would offer an additional option to optimise their international patent strategy, especially when considering protection in Europe. As a result, Chinese users interested in accelerating the prosecution of their applications will, by selecting the EPO as their ISA, gain up to one year by entering into the European phase earlier and getting direct examination of their files, without the need for a European supplementary search.

In recent years, computer-implemented inventions (CII) technology develops rapidly, and the CII-related patent applications increases significantly. As CII technology is more and more involved other areas of innovation, national IP offices and applicants around the world are facing new challenges. In response to these challenges, CNIPA and the EPO work together to conduct a joint study on CII.

At the 4th Zijin International IP Summit organised in Nanjing, the heads of the CNIPA and EPO also launched their joint study on computer-implemented inventions, which outlines the similarities and differences of examination practices specific to software-related inventions. The findings of this joint report will provide practical guidance to applicants about what to expect when filing CII applications at the CNIPA and EPO.