How do I protect my idea in China?
Updated: Sep 16, 2021
You can protect your idea in China with a patent application.
There are three types of patents in China: (1) invention, (2) utility and (2) design.
The more complex inventions should be covered with an invention patent application. Invention patents last for 20 years. They cover both products and processes. It usually takes several years to get an invention patent granted.
In the case of infringement, the owner of a utility patent application can pursue action using the administrative branch of the patent office. This is far less costly and time consuming because there are no courts involved. The administrative branch will not assess compensation for infringement, but will facilitate a mediation between the parties to reach a financial settlement.
The more simple inventions should be covered with a utility patent application. Utility patents lasts for 10 years. They have a lower threshold of inventiveness requirement than invention patents. Utility patents only cover products, not processes. Utility patents can be granted in less than a year because less scrutiny is applied to them.
The simplest products should be covered with a design patent application. Chinese design patents relate specifically to the external features of a product, such as the shape, pattern, or colour. Design patents last for 10 years and can be obtained within a year.
It is possible to file for both utility and invention patents for a particular improvement, product or process. However, you cannot obtain both. During the prosecution period, you will be asked to choose which one to pursue.
Chinese patents have to be filed in Mandarin.
Demonstrating that a patented product was published or unveiled before the patent was issued could invalidate the patent.
If you require any further information regarding protecting your idea in China, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0402519010.