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Promulgation of Interim Measures for the Administration of Special Funds for Subsidizing Foreign Patent Applications (Mainland China)

Ray Chan

The Ministry of Finance promulgated the Interim Measures for the Administration of Special Funds for Subsidizing Foreign Patent Applications (hereinafter referred to as the “Measures”) on October 13, 2009 to help enterprises suffering from fund shortage, particularly those small and medium-sized enterprises during the procedure of filing for foreign patent applications.

The “Domestic Applicant” set forth in the Measures refers to a domestic small or medium-sized enterprise, institution or scientific or technological research organization which meets the legal requirements of this nation.

The “Foreign Patent Application” set forth in the Measures refers to a patent application filed through the avenue of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) with the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the “SIPO”) as the agency which processes the application.

Under the Measures, the foreign patent applications subsidized by the special funds shall meet one of the following requirements:


Such applications shall be beneficial to realizing China’s industrial advantages and achieving international competitiveness.


Such applications may potentially explore the global market or expand global market shares.


The patented technology and products are expected to have large capacities and prosperous outlooks in the global market.


Such applications are beneficial to the possession of core technology by China’s strong enterprises.


Such applications may potentially contribute to the creation of patent pools and participation in the formulation of international technical standards.


Such applications meet the state’s strategic requirements and direction for intellectual property rights and are beneficial to enhancing independent innovation capabilities.

With respect to the procedure, a central agency shall file the application with the Ministry of Finance through the SIPO, and a local agency shall apply to the provincial finance authorities through provincial intellectual property authorities. It is also expressly stipulated that the special funds are primarily used to subsidize a domestic applicant’s payment of (1) statutory fees to a foreign patent examination agency during the prosecution stage and within three years from the year the patent is granted, (2) patent search fees to patent search agencies, and (3) service charges to patent agencies when a foreign patent application is filed. Each patent project supports applications in up to five countries (regions) and subsidizes up to RMB100,000 for each country (region), except for major innovative projects.

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