Post-grant fees in China – patents, trademarks, designs
  • Annual fees for patent/utility model maintenance in China (PCT, non-PCT)

Letters Patent granted in China should be kept in force by paying annual maintenance fees. The duration of a patent is 20 years from the filing date and it can not be extended. The patent right is effective from the date of publication in the Patent Gazette.

Annual fees in China are paid for every year of patent validity starting from the year when the patent is granted. First post-grant annuity is to be paid within two months from the date of receiving the Notice of Allowance from the Office. All subsequent annual fees should be paid in advance before the due date.

The rate of the annual fee increases every three years and it is the same for the period from 16th till 20th validity years.

If the term for annuity payment has been missed or the fee hasn’t been paid in full, there is a grace period of six months to effect this payment. The late payment surcharge for each month from the second one is 5% of the annual fee amount for the corresponding year. The maximum possible surcharge is 25% of the annual maintenance fee amount. When the fee is not paid during the grace period, the patent is invalidated.

In case of a PCT national phase entry in China, the procedure of annuities payment is the same as for national patents. Patents that have entered the PCT national phase in China are valid for 20 years from the international filing date.

The term of a utility model patent is 10 years from the filing fate. The same method of annuities payment applies.

  • Industrial Design maintenance fees in China

Industrial design registration should be kept in force by paying design maintenance fees. The term of design validity in China is ten years from the filing date.

The payment of the first maintenance fee should be effected on the date of registration. The size of the design renewal fee grows every two-three years. The subsequent design maintenance fees should be paid before the due date.

If the deadline is missed, the patentee has a six-month grace period to settle payment with a 5% surcharge (for every month from the second one). The failure to pay the annual fee during this term causes design patent invalidation.

  • Trademark renewal fees in China        

The initial term of the trademark registration in China is ten years from the registration date. The registration may be renewed unlimited times if a request for renewal is filed within 12 months before the expiry of the validity term. The additional time of six months is granted for requesting renewal.

  • Restoration for patents, design, trademarks

The term for the restoration of an invalidated patent or design right in China is two months from the expiry of the time set for the payment of annuities. Under certain conditions (force majeure) this two months period may be extended by up to two months. A request for restoration stipulating the reasons of non-payment must be filed alongside the payment of the annual fee, surcharge and restoration fee.

The current national trademark legislation does not provide for the restoration of a lapsed trademark.

  • Note

CNIPA does not send out any reminders before the due date for payment of annuities, but they will send a Non-Payment Notification if the term for annual fee payment was missed.