MultiLing in the News: Protecting IP in China, Part II with Adam Bigelow

B2C_LogoPart II of Michael Sneddon’s interview with Adam Bigelow, director of MultiLing’s business in the Asia region, was published in Business 2 Community and reveals some interesting practices for filing patents in China and Taiwan. 

As mentioned in Part I of Sneddon’s interview of Bigelow, China looks to be taking another leap forward in innovation, recently overtaking other countries – including the United States – for the largest number of applications received by any single IP office (652,777), according to the World Intellectual Property Indicators 2013.

Here is more information on IP translations and patent filings in China and Taiwan, according to Bigelow.

How do you go about filing for patents in China?


As in other countries, foreign entities can file for patent protection in China through either the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) or Paris Convention. To get a patent approved more quickly, the applicant should consider filing directly in China via the Paris Convention.

If patents have been previously validated in other countries, the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) between SIPO and the European Patent Office (EPO) – and other important patent offices – will significantly expedite prosecution in China. SIPO recognizes the result of the EPO examination and may grant a patent directly on the claims that EPO allowed. Thus, if the inventor files an application with EPO first and then files the same application in China, inventors should consider filing a PPH request to expedite the examination and decrease overall costs of obtaining a patent in China.

How do the patent laws differ in China?

In China, patent claims may be submitted in Chinese or in English with a Chinese translation included. There is no allowance to amend errors due to mistranslations. Additionally, while China does allow a six-month grace period for public disclosures, this only applies if the invention was shown in international exhibitions sponsored or recognized by the Chinese government or published at certain predetermined academic or technological conferences.

So what can companies do to ensure their patents are properly translated into Chinese?

Ensure that anyone who touches your patent applications is a native speaker intimately familiar with the Chinese language and culture, and legal systems, as well as being an experienced, technical expert for the industry and technologies specific to the innovations for which you seek patent protection.

South Korea (otherwise known as the Republic of Korea) is another Asian country that is experiencing an increase in patent filings – both to and from the country. Watch for Part III of Sneddon’s interview with Bigelow for insights on the legal and translation issues associated with filing patents there, and visit the MultiLing news room to see more instances of MultiLing in the news.

Michael Sneddon, CEO of MultiLing Corp.Michael Sneddon is the president & CEO of MultiLing, an innovative leader in IP translations and related services for foreign patent filings by Global 500 legal teams. Sneddon, who started the company in 1988, is an attorney and member of the American Intellectual Property and Law Association (AIPLA).