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The basic knowledge concerning the patents for the market operating businesses

  I. Basic knowledge of patents

  1. What is the patent: short named from the patent right, the patent refers to the right given by the nation’s patent law to the applicant to exclusive own, use, benefit from and dispose of his/her inventions or results in a certain period. It is a kind of property right. It is often used to occupy the market and explore the potential market with the protection of laws.

  2. Features of the patent: the patent is exclusive, time-limited and region-limited.

  Exclusive: after the invention is authorized as a patent, no other organization or individual, when wanting to use the invention, has to get the permission from the patent owner or will infringe on the patent, unless otherwise regulated by the law.

  Time-limited: the invention is protected by the law in a certain period. When the protection period expires or the patent is invalidated, the patent can be used by any person free of charge. The patent protection period is often 20 years. And the protection period for the practical new patents and the appearance design patents is often 10 years.

  Region-limited: the patent obtained in a country is protected by the country’s law. Only after the patent is approved in another country will it be protected by that country’s law.

  3. The types of patents in China: invention patent, practical new patent and appearance design patent

  II. Definition of patented products (patent marks and patent number)

  1. Patent marks and number: the patent owner has the right to mark his/her patented products or packages with the patent marks or patent number.

  2. Meaning and features of patent application number (patent number)

  2. Patent application number (patent number) is the ID given by the State Intellectual Property Office of China to the application. The patent application number is exclusive and will not be altered when the alterations happen in the applications, the patent law, inventor, designer, patent applicant or patent owner.

  3. The patent application number (patent number) structure: ZL refers to “patent”, the first and second number signify the year in which the patent is applied (the patents applied after October 1, 2003 will be signified in 4 numbers for the year), the third number stands for the type of the patent (after October 1, 2003, the 5th number stands for the type), in which 1 refers to the invention patents, 2 represents practical new patents and 3 stands for appearance design patent. 8 means that the patent is included in the national PCT invention category while 9 means the patent is included in the national PCT practical and new category.

  4. The patent marks and number should both include the following contents

  (1) The type of patent shown in Chinese characters, such as the Chinese invention patent, Chinese practical and new patent, and the Chinese appearance design patent;

  (2) The patent number given by the State Intellectual Property Office.

  Except for the above conents, the marker can add some other words, characters and graphs, which should not mislead the public.

  When printing the patent marks and number on the patented products or packages, the patent owner should note in Chinese that it is the patented product.

  What marking approach is not accepted?

  The patent type and number are not made in the Chinese characters, which might mislead the consumers, such as “patented products, piracy will be punished”,etc.


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