PATENT ELIGIBILITY FOR SOFTWARE (AND OTHER GOOD THINGS) UNDER CHINA’S NEW PATENT EXAMINATION GUIDELINES

15.03.2017

By Lawrence Hoffman

China is the world’s second largest economy. An important factor in China’s emergence as an economic powerhouse is certainly its private enterprise friendly version of communism. Also, it is rapidly becoming one of the more enlightened countries in its treatment of foreign, as well as domestic, IP owners. It is therefore increasingly important for foreign companies to understand the IP climate in China and to utilize it to protect its markets.

Recent events confirm China’s continuing commitment to improving its patent system. On 1 March 2017, SIPO published a revised Patent Examination Guidelines. The most dramatic changes make business methods patent-eligible as a general matter and greatly expand patent eligibility for software related invention, including for media on which software is records.
In brief, software related inventions, including those for business methods, are patent eligible if the claims include a technical solution to a technical problem together with the software concept. Moreover, the term ‘technical solution’ is given a clear definition.

Arguably, these changes place China well ahead of the U.S. in protecting software related inventions and should serve as a loud wake-up call to those seeking to improve the U.S. patent system.

Read more here: http://www.ipatent.co.il/category/articles-and-publications/

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