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CNIPA Pilot Program Allow Hong Kong Applicants to Request Prioritized Examination

Hong Kong applicants can now request the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) to accelerate their invention patent applications under a new pilot program started in 2023.
This pilot program offers a valuable channel for Hong Kong applicants to expedite their patent examination process in China free of charge. 

Eligibility and How To Apply

To be eligible, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The sole applicant, or at least one co-applicant, is (i) a permanent resident of Hong Kong, (ii) a company established under the Companies Ordinance of Hong Kong, or (iii) a legal entity or organization of other types in Hong Kong. 
  2. The invention application is in the substantive examination stage.
  3. The invention application opted for electronic filing (rather than paper filing) at the time the request to be prioritized is made.
  4. The invention belongs in one of the classifications listed in the technical fields prescribed in the “Administrative Measures for Patent Priority Examination (專利優先審查管理辦法),” such as internet, big data, cloud computing, energy conservation, environmental protection, new generation information technology, biology, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy, new materials, new energy vehicles and intelligent manufacturing.  

A request form, together with information about the existing technology in the field including patent and non-patent literature, must be submitted to the CNIPA’s representative office in Guangzhou or Shenzhen.

How We May Help

While this pilot program helps Hong Kong applicants obtain patents in China earlier, the more challenging aspect for innovators and entrepreneurs, especially startups, might be the huge patent expenses such as filing fees and attorney fees. Hong Kong applicants have various avenues for obtaining funds to finance their patent filings, including the Patent Application Grant (PAG) administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission with the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC), which could grant HK$250,000 or 90% of the sum of the total direct costs of the patent application (whichever is lower). 

Our team is experienced in advising innovators and entrepreneurs on their patent strategies in Hong Kong, China and other regions. We offer patent services such as drafting and prosecuting patent applications, as well as intellectual property transactional, advisory and dispute work. 

We would be happy to assist you with your patent matters in Hong Kong and other jurisdictions.