Patent Strategy for China

So what is the best strategy for patenting in China?  I recently gave my “10 Ways to Improve and IP Strategy” talk at IQPC in Florida, and a general consensus among IP managers at the conference was to start filing patents in China now, as if China had a rigorous system for patent enforcement today, in anticipation that China will have a rigorous system of patent enforcement ten years from now.  While patents today may have limited value in practice in China, tomorrow, they will likely prove very valuable – perhaps essential – assets to have to succeed in Chinese markets.


This is not unlike, in principle, the idea of buying real estate in questionable neighborhoods in anticipation that those neighborhoods will improve and the value of the asset will rise – which if enough people act with similar logic, can create a self-fulfilling prophecy.  China has declared it wants to be an innovator country, not just the factory for everyone else, and having foreign companies outpace Chinese companies on patenting in China would not support that declaration, meaning that the government, as well as commercial interests, will push Chinese company domestic patenting activity.  Chinese innovator companies, seeking the benefits of enforceable IP rights in China, will become an inside force for strengthening IP laws.  The Chinese system of enforcement almost can’t help but to improve.

Photo credit: Hemera

4 Comments on “Patent Strategy for China

    • Hi Naim – Very true. Do a word substitution by country and it’s pretty much the same story…although China gets the lionshare of the discussion on the matter:)

  1. Hi Jarspander – It’s an interesting point. You might enjoy taking a look at TRIZ – one of the concepts, simplified here but not much, is that when you get to the core of all inventions, all inventions are doing one or a combination for 40 basic principles to solve one or a combination of 39 problems. Same idea that all the music in the world is created by the reuse of the same fundamental musical notes.

  2. Patenting in China is a mess.  All claims must be experimentally verified in the description. In other words, be prepared for the following objection: “The information given in the description is insufficient to enable those skilled in the art to extend the teaching of the description to the scope claimed…” This is problematic for biotech. As an example, if you have an antigen you believe may cure Parkinson’s disease as a
    vaccine component, using said vaccine for treatment of Parkinson’s
    cannot be patented until proven experimentally. For example, objections like the following may occur: “… those skilled in the art cannot reasonably predict whether a compound suitable for the treatment of Parkinson’s can be identified by said method. That is to say, said technical solution is only established upon verification with experimental results”. So how do you protect your vaccine prior to the outcome of Phase 3 trials?

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