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Article 2.2 of the PRC Patent Law FAQs

What is the PRC Patent Law definition of “invention?”

The PRC Patent Law defines invention as, “any new technical solution relating to a product, a process, or improvement thereof.” Thus, in order to determine subject matter an applicant must determine whether their solution falls within the scope of a “technical solution”.

What is the PRC Patent Law definition of “technical solution?”

The PRC Patent Law defines technical solution as, “a collection of technical means employing natural law to solve technical problems.”

How does one determine subject matter of a proposed patent?

When determining subject matter the focus of analysis should be focused on whether the solution is achieved through technical means which solves technical problems and produces technical effects. This analysis must view the solution as a whole. An individual feature that solves technical problems and produces technical effect, alone, does not satisfy the subject matter requirement of PRC Patent Law. Generally, the solved problem is a technical problem if an employed technical means consists of technical features and its achieved effect is a technical effect in conformity with the law of nature.

How do electronic and computer patents differ from other patents?

Patent applications in the electronics and computer sectors are governed by Part II, Chapter 9 of the Guidelines. The Guidelines state; “if a solution of a patent application relating to a computer program executes the computer program to perform control of an industrial procedure, measuring or testing procedure, process external technical data, and improve internal performances of the computer system, it is a subject matter protected in the context of the PRC Patent Law.”

What is the “Dedication Theory?”

The basis of the Dedication Theory is that when determining the subject matter of a computer program application, the proposed solution shall be compared with any existing prior art. If any prior art is available, the focus of consideration shall be to determine if the solution and issues resolved are technical in nature. The key analysis in this theory is whether the solution contributes to the prior art in a technical way. In comparing the patent application to the prior art, one must consider the problem the patent is attempting to solve and whether the distinguishing features are technical in nature.

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