Administrative Measures for Priority Examination of Patent Applications, issued by the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China, have come into effect on 1st August 2017. They aim at broadening the range of technologies that are considered eligible for priority examination, as well as opening up opportunities for applicants of utility models and design patents to apply for fast-track examinations of their applications. In order to simplify the procedure of priority examination, the applicant is no longer required to hand in search reports, or recommendation letters from authorities under some conditions. The priority Examination of Patent applications applies in certain circumstances, such as concerning environmental protection, energy conservation, new-generation IT, biotechnology, high-tech equipment manufacturing, new energy, new materials, new energy vehicles, and intelligent manufacturing.
It is noteworthy that those measures encourage Chinese companies to also extend their patent portfolio to foreign countries, as all applications for the extension of pending invention patent applications (or those currently under re-examination) to foreign countries are automatically eligible for priority examination. This implies that companies need to proactively submit their patent applications abroad if they want to obtain protection as soon as possible.