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FAQs of Patent Application

Q:
What are the advantages of patent application?
A:
Patent is important for preventing loss of technological achievement, exclusively owning the sales market of the patented product. It is the tool for enhancing enterprises’ core competence and safeguarding its interests.
Q:
What are the characteristics of patent?
A:
The characteristics of patent are as follows:
  • Distinctiveness: Patent owners have the rights of producing, using and selling the patented product
  • Geographical: Patent is valid only in the country or region which was granted
  • Timeliness: Patent is valid only within a specific period
Q:
What are the principles on the basis of patent protection?
A:
Currently, the 2 principles of patent protection adopted internationally are prior application and prior invent. Most countries and regions adopt the principle of prior application.
Q:
How many types of patent are there?
A:
The classification of patent varies with each country and region. Patent is classified as Registration of Design, Short-term Patent and Standard Patent in Hong Kong while as Design Patent, Utility Model Patent and Invention Patent in China.
Q:
What is the maximum validity period of a patent?
A:
It varies with each country and region. Generally, the duration is 20 years for Invention Patent, 10 years for Utility Model Patent and 10 or 25 years for Design Patent.
Q:
What is a Priority of Patent?
A:
A patent applicant may enjoy the right of priority, in accordance with any agreement entered into between countries or an international treaty under which both of them are parties, for a period of twelve months immediately from the date on which the initial patent application was made and such patent application was also made in such country. For example, if the applicant submitted his/her application on 1 Dec 2014 in the PRC, he/she could be entitled to enjoy the Priority of Patent until 30 Nov 2015. Such applicant could apply for the same patent in another country and the effective date of this application is considered to be on 1 Dec 2014. The right of priority cannot be extended.
Q:
Is a patent search needed before application?
A:
To enhance the application successful rate and avoid infringement, applicant shall retrieve relevant patent documentation before filing the application in order to highlight the novelty and creativity of the patent through analysis and comparison.
Q:
What kinds of information or document are required for a patent application?
A:
The following information and documents are required for a patent application:
  • Application form
  • Name of the invention
  • Name and address of the applicant
  • Name and address of the inventor or designer
  • Type of patent
  • The application date and the application number of the International stage and the type of patent to be applied for (if applicable)
  • Power of Attorney
  • Patent documents
Q:
What are patent documents?
A:
Patent documents shall include:
  • Claim: describe the protection scope of the patented technology
  • Abstract: provide the outline of the key technical aspect of the patent
  • Specification: provide written details and features of the patented technology
  • Drawings: illustrate structures or details of the patent
Q:
What is patent maintenance fee?
A:
It represents a fee payable by the owner for the patent in order to maintain the patent validity from the date it was granted. Maintenance fee schedule varies among different countries and regions.
Q:
How can applicant apply for international patent other than filing applications to different countries?
A:
Applicant can gain international patent rights through PCT, Paris Convention, European Patent Office, Eurasian Patent Organisation, African Intellectual Property Organisation, etc.
Q:
Can the patent be transferred?
A:
The owner of a patent can transfer the ownership and is entitled to profits through licensing and pledging.

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