China -  Chinese law firm

As the newly revised patent law took effect on July 1, 2001, what would you say are the most significant changes that are likely to occur as a result?

Specifically, this has meant changing the effective date for patent protection from the date of the patent grant to the date a party initially files for a patent application. This change ensures that a patent is protected during the State Patent Office's review process.

Also, patent holders may now seek injunctions, or court orders, to halt the activities of patent violators pending litigation and no longer have to wait until successful prosecution of the infringement, or violation, is complete.

There are also provisions aimed specifically at Chinese State-owned enterprises. In order to help these enterprises compete in the international environment, the new laws allow them to own patents on inventions developed by their own employees. The employees, in turn, will receive bonuses based on the commercial success of the patent so as to encourage innovation. The new laws will also bring foreign application procedures into conformity with the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO's) application protocol, making it easier for domestic inventors to apply for foreign patents.

Aside from these changes in the patent application process, there have also been efforts to make the State Patent Office itself more efficient and reliable. For instance, the patent examiners at the State Patent Office are now required to complete the patent application review process within a set time limit and measures are being adopted to curb corruption in the application process.

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