One of the complications in searching the Chinese patent office website is there are several access points to search screens. For instance, if you were to search for “Chinese Patent Office Website” in a search browser, one of the top search results would be the English version of the Chinese patent office. You then click on the search result link to navigate you to the Chinese patent office website.
From there, you find a matter and think you’ve accessed the only record that includes some bare bones bibliographic information. It’s so frustrating to find a record online only to be disappointed with the amount of information provided.
It can be difficult to find comprehensive information in the English versions of Asian sites, so you are forced to keep digging. Let’s uncover the buried treasures of the Chinese patent office website.
Fast forward through all my pain and agony in finding an effective patent searching screen for China and by clicking here you have immediate access to the “buried” Chinese patent office site. This search screen has a few criteria by which you can search. I prefer to use the application number field but please note the Tip at the top of the screen for the application number formatting. Just to make sure your basic mental maths skills are sharp, since they require you to type in a verification code which is the answer to the math problem. If you can overcome that steep hurdle, then you have a search result waiting for you.
The search result screen includes a few pieces of information around patent type, title, applicant, and filing date. A common tip I’ve said in many of my articles is to feel free to use a website translation tool to translate fields into English, particularly when doing a quick verification of the fields. To access more information, you can click on the application number field or, below the search results field, specific matter sections. Either way, you are navigated to a wealth of information.
While I won’t discuss all these tabs, I will point out a few that I’ve found useful. The basic information tab is a great bibliographic summary. They include the filing date, title, applicant name, inventors, priority and international phase (Patent Cooperation Treaty-PCT) information.
The About Examination tab includes documents related to the examination of the Chinese application. Unfortunately, from what I can tell, you cannot download these documents. However, if you weren’t given enough information around a case that you need to open examination tasks for in docketing, this can be useful to at least know the activities that have taken place and their respective dates.
I have an affinity for websites that include annuity payment information, and this website is no exception. The top section when accessing the Payment Information tab is the upcoming annuity payment types, payment amounts, and deadlines.
For annuities, please note the deadline includes an additional one-month grace period that doesn’t require extra grace period fees (e.g. annuity is due on 10/20/17 but Chinese patent office will have the date as 11/20/17).
The next section shows the type of payments that have already been paid and includes the same fields of the top section along with payer and receipt number information, if that’s of importance. This tab also includes information not related to annuities such as publication fees, printing fees, and priority fees. I really appreciate that all this payment information is in one place for quick reference.
The last tab I’ll discuss is the Publication/Announcement Information tab. Even though the About Examination tab doesn’t allow you to download documents, this Publication tab does allow you to select and download the publication and/or issue announcement (issued patent) documents. Again, this comes in handy when you are doing a file opening or docketing with limited information.
I’ve only briefly explained how I use this website. However, once I discovered this patent website, there has rarely been a day that goes by that I don’t use this to access some aspect of a matter record. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is probably my most frequently used non-US website to obtain necessary information.
Now you have a few hidden treasures on the Chinese patent office website! I’m sure there are more tips and tricks to be found within it. If you know of one I didn’t mention, please let us know or post on our LinkedIn page. If you found this valuable, we have another post that focuses on the right way to calculate due dates in EP and China. Black Hills IP hopes this content becomes a continuous flow of information that the IP community can rely on and act on. We are the leaders in smarter IP data docketing.