How to File a Design Patent in China? Follow These Easy Steps!

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In the global market, China stands out as a potential country for businesses aiming to expand their export market. However, it is important to understand how to file a design patent in China so you can protect your business’ IP (Intellectual Property).

With its robust manufacturing sector and innovation landscape, China offers ample opportunities for companies to safeguard their product designs. Even though filing a design patent in this country might seem daunting at first, the right guidance will make it easier.

Filing in China : What to KNow 

In general, you can learn How a Patent Could Be Registered. However, filing a design patent in China involves a structured process with several key steps. From research of approved design registration to the budget, here is what you should know:

  • Registration Eligibility Critera

In China, design registration encompasses a broad spectrum of products that evoke aesthetic appeal and are suitable for industrial application.

According to Article 2 of the Patent Law of China, eligible designs include the shape, pattern, or combination, as well as the combination of color, shape, and pattern of a product.

Various items across industries, such as industrial products, textiles, and graphical user interfaces (GUI), can be registered for design patents.

However, it’s essential to note that certain items, like handicrafts, agricultural products, and natural objects, are ineligible for design registration.

Therefore, to qualify for registration, a design must demonstrate novelty, originality, and ornamental value, ensuring it is distinct from prior designs or combinations thereof.

  • Why A Design Registration is Refused

Several factors may lead to the rejection of a design registration in China. Lack of novelty is a primary concern, as designs must be new and not identical to any prior designs.

That’s why conducting thorough research is crucial to ensure that no similar designs have been previously filed with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA).

Moreover, designs must possess sufficient distinctiveness, clearly differing from prior designs or their combinations.

Conflict with earlier rights is another reason for refusal, as registered designs should not infringe upon existing legal rights obtained by others before the filing date. Prior designs known to the public in China or abroad may affect the registration process.

  • Registration Process

For the international design application, China uses the Hague System. It is an international treaty that provides a streamlined process for registering industrial designs across multiple countries.

The system is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It allows applicants to file a single international application to protect their designs in multiple member countries to simplify the process and reduce administrative burdens.

So, to file a design patent for your business, it’s crucial to conduct preliminary research on the design registration process in China first. So you can ensure the design’s uniqueness and avoid potential conflicts with existing registrations.

Filing the application through a registered design patent agency in China is recommended to navigate the process efficiently. You may also use international IP law firms, such as Am Badar & Am Badar‘s Patent Drafting Service. You can contact us or explore the insights and services for further information.

After submission, the CNIPA conducts a preliminary examination to verify the application’s compliance with formal requirements. If approved, applicants must pay the requisite annuity fees, leading to the issuance of a design registration certificate.

  • Documents Required 

To successfully register a design and file a design patent in China, specific documents are required to accompany the application.

These include a Power of Attorney (POA), the application form containing details such as the design title, applicant’s information, and designer’s details, as well as detailed drawings or photographs of the design.

As for the drawings, they should depict various views of the product, including front, rear, left, right, top, bottom, and stereo views, adhering to state standards of technical and mechanical drawing.

Additionally, a certified copy of any prior application or a DAS code must be submitted if priority is claimed within three months of the Chinese filing date.

  • Invalidation Process

When you file a design patent in China, the design invalidation process provides a mechanism to challenge the validity of a registered design.

Initiated by filing an invalidation request with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), the process involves examination, hearing, and a final decision on the design’s validity.

Upon filing, the CNIPA examines the request and notifies the patent holder for a response. Subsequent stages may include presenting evidence and arguments, both online and on-site, followed by the CNIPA’s decision on the design’s validity.

Appeals to higher authorities, such as the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, are also possible if parties disagree with the CNIPA’s decision.

  • Design Registration Cost

The cost to register and file a design patent in China varies depending on several factors, including agency fees, official filing fees, and additional services required during the application process.

Overall, the cost consists of various official fees associated with different procedures and maintenance periods. Here’s a breakdown of the official fees for registering a design patent in China:

  • Filing procedure – 500 CNY
  • Registration procedure – 600 CNY
  • Maintenance fees – they are payable annually to maintain the design patent registration. The fees vary depending on the following maintenance period:
  • For the 1st to 3rd year is 600 CNY
  • For the 4th to 5th year is 900 CNY
  • For the 6th to 8th year is 1200 CNY
  • For the 9th to 10th year is 2000 CNY
  • For the 11th to 15th year is 3000 CNY

Therefore, budgeting accordingly is essential to optimize costs and ensure a successful registration. Understanding the associated costs and seeking guidance from legal experts can help you navigate the complexities of the patent registration process.

So, it is clear that the procedure for filing and registering a design patent in China is slightly different from that in other countries, such as Indonesia. Unlike China, Indonesia does not currently participate in the Hague System for international design protection.

As a comparison, according to Law No. 13 of 2016 regarding Patent, to register a design patent in Indonesia, applicants must submit a formal application to the Ministry in Bahasa Indonesia.

Whether in China or Indonesia, if you want to file a design patent internationally, contact us at Am Badar & Am Badar for consultation or to use our Patent Drafting Service. Also, check our full services and other insights, such as The Benefit of Hiring a Patent Drafter.


Reviewed by Nabil Argya Yusuf

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