Securing more comprehensive design patent protection

By Martin Meng and Howard Hao, Chang Tsi & Partners

The design patent protection system in China has some unique advantages, such as low fees and rapid granting of rights. When hearing a design patent infringement case, a judge also faces relatively few difficulties, because he or she has relatively wide discretion in determining “identity” and “similarity”, and such determination is not as “technical” as the comparisons for invention and utility model infringement. Accordingly, the hearing time of a case is relatively short. Furthermore, as long as the evidence is sufficiently prepared, it is usually possible to obtain reasonable compensation.

The purpose of filing for a patent is to protect one’s invention/creation and maintain one’s market competitiveness. This column offers certain suggestions for design filing strategies in light of our experience in design patent litigation.

Solid lines and broken lines

Pursuant to the Patent Law (2008), the Implementing Rules for the Patent Law (2009) and the current Patent Examination Guidelines, design patents in China only protect the entire design of a product, and patents may not be granted for the design of an inseparable part of a product, or of a part that cannot be separately sold or used.

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Martin Meng and Howard Hao are patent partners at Chang Tsi & Partners

Changtsi 001

7/F and 8/F, Tower A, Hundred Island Park

Bei Zhan Bei Jie Street, Xicheng District

Beijing 100044, China

Tel: +86 10 8836 9999

Fax: +86 10 8836 9996