INVALIDATION

1. Invalidation of Patent Right

  The Chinese Patent Law stipulates that "Where, starting from the date of the announcement of the grant of the patent right by the Patent Administration Department under the State Council, any entity or individual considers that the grant of the said patent right is not in conformity with the relevant provisions of this law, it or he may request the Patent Re-examination Board to declare the patent right invalid". To maintain the solemnity of the Patent Law and interests of the public, the Patent Law sets up a "procedure for invalidation" in its patent examination procedures. 


2. Responses in the procedure of invalidation

  The Patent Re-examination Board will forward a copy of the invalidation request and attached documents to the patent owner, asking it/he to make responses during a subscribed time period. The patent owner as well as the invalidation request applicant should always respond the notice of forwarding invalidation request or invalidation office action of the Patent Re-examination Board during the subscribed time period, failure in timely responding will not affect the examination of the Patent Re-examination Board.

  During the examination of an invalidation request, the owner of an invention patent or utility model patent can amend the claims only, and cannot broad the original patent protection scope; the owner of a design patent, however, cannot amend the application documents.


3. Examination of Invalidation Request

  The Patent Re-examination Board exams the request for invalidation. During the examination, the Patent Re-examination Board can, upon request of the relevant parties, or based on the need of the case, decide to conduct oral hearings. The Patent Re-examination Board makes decision on invalidation requests and notifies the request applicant and the patent owner. The Patent Office will register and announce the decision of the invalidation. A patent invalidated is deems not existed from the very beginning.

  If a party is not satisfied with the decision made by the Patent Re-examination Board on either invalidating the patent, maintaining the patent or partially maintaining the patent, can launch a lawsuit at the People's Court within 3 months upon receipt of the invalidation decision.


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