Annual Technical Report 2008 on Patent Information Activities submitted by China (SCIT/ATR/PI/2008/CN)

Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.

The term "patent" covers utility models and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs). Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in their Annual Technical Reports on Industrial Design Information Activities.

I. Evolution of patent activities

Changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants with respect to the previous year

In 2008, the State Intellectual Property Office (hereinafter SIPO) received 289,838 invention applications, a 18.2% increase compared to 2007, while inventions granted were 93,706, with a 37.9% increase.
There were 225,586 utility model applications filed in 2008, a 24.4% increase compared to 2007, and utility models granted were 176,675, with a 17.8% increase.

Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year

Among the technical fields (according to the definition of the International Patent Classification) in which the number of applications filed in 2008 exceeded 4,000, the following has experienced rapid changes compared to 2007:
The number of applications in Class C12 (Biochemistry; beer; spirits; wine; vinegar; microbiology; enzymology; mutation or genetic engineering) was 6,818, a 62% increase.
The number of applications in Class B01 (Physical or chemical processes or apparatus in general) was 5,841, a 58% increase.
The number of applications in Class B60 (Vehicles in general) was 4,814, a 38% increase.
The number of applications in Class H02 (Generation, conversion, or distribution of electric power) was 6,351, a 37% increase.
The number of applications in Class F16 (Engineering elements or units) was 6,049, a 34% increase.

Utility models
Among the technical fields (according to the definition of the International Patent Classification) in which the number of applications filed in 2008 exceeded 5,000, the following has experienced rapid changes compared to 2007:
The number of applications in Class H01 (Basic electric elements) was 14,813, a 50% increase.
The number of applications in Class H02 (Generation, conversion, or distribution of electric power) was 6,932, a 46% increase.
The number of applications in Class B60 (Vehicles in general) was 6,799, a 44% increase.
The number of applications in Class F21 (Lighting) was 7,402, a 44% increase.
The number of applications in Class F16 (Engineering elements or units) was 11,832, a 42% increase.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide statistics related to patents


II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, distribution and use of primary and secondary sources of patent information

Publishing, printing, copying (main types of publications of the Office in the field of patent information, etc.)

Nowadays, SIPO not only promotes the electronic publication of patent information on the Internet, but also keeps the traditional medium of paper. In these two ways, we provide patent information to government agencies, research institutions, industry and the general public.

Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of patent information

Patent gazettes
Patent gazettes for inventions and utility models are published in paper and PDF formats once a week with the bibliographic data, abstracts and figures, legal status, indexes, etc.

Patent specifications
Specifications of inventions published, granted and utility models granted are published together with patent gazettes once a week in TIFF formats, with claims, descriptions and drawings.

Patent certificates
The patent certificates and their duplicate copies for inventions, utility models and designs are issued periodically.

Mass storage media used (paper, microforms, optical storage, etc.)

The above-mentioned documents are stored in the medium of DVD.

Word processing and office automation

The paper applications are scanned and converted into the electronic image data for the use of subsequent procedures. The bibliographic data are collected manually twice, and then the two sets of data are compared automatically to find the differences so as to eliminate the clerical errors.
The bibliographic data of electronic filings is extracted from the applications automatically.
Prior to the generations of the gazettes, specifications, certificates, the bibliographic data is collated and corrected manually again.

(New) techniques used for the generation of patent information (printing, recording, photocomposing, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), etc.)

Patent gazettes
By using electronic scanning and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technologies in the data processing, the documents of patent gazettes in PDF format after editing and typesetting are published in paper, optical disks and on the Internet.

Patent specification
Image files in TIFF format are generated by scanning, and after content selection and layout design the files are printed into pamphlets of specifications by using digital printing equipments and accessible on the Internet.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide access to online publication of patent documents and gazettes, and to other primary and secondary sources of patent information, including patent publication servers and download of bulk patent data

Patent gazette:;
Search system:;

Search system:

III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents

Abstracting, reviewing, translating

SIPO provides translation service from Chinese to English. In 2008 SIPO kept on translating Chinese patent abstracts, titles, applicants and inventors, all of which were completed in a two-level reviewing workflow by computer-assisted translation(CAT).
In 2008, SIPO launched the "Chinese-English Machine Translation system" in order to provide fully automatic web-based MT service of all Chinese patent documents since 1985. The system provides a convenient tool for English-speaking users to understand the Chinese patent information with ease.

Classification1, preclassification2 (if applicable), and reclassification3 activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Patent Classification (IPC), other classification (please indicate whether or not patent documents are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)

During 2008, 440,000 new applications were classified according to the International Patent Classifications.
Nearly 1100 documents relating to the four revisions of the advanced IPC scheme since 2006 were reclassified.
The SIPO positively participated in the activities for the revision of the IPC, and sent their delegation to IPC-related WIPO meetings.
SIPO also sent its delegation as observer to the Trilateral Working Group meeting on Classification that took place in Tokyo and Washington.

Coordinate indexing (domestic deep indexing systems, keyword indexing)

Titles, abstracts and main claims of inventions published, granted and utility models granted since 1985 are indexed with keywords, which are used in the present China Patent Retrieval System (CPRS).
Patents relating to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) published since 1985 are deeply indexed, including the rewriting of titles and abstracts, IPC detailed classification, PHC classification, keywords indexing based on category fields, TCM formula indexing, etc, and all the data processed are translated into English.

Hybrid system indexing

No activities.

Bibliographic data and full-text processing

According to the "China Patent Electronic Data Standard" based on WIPO standard ST.36, the data processed by SIPO includes the bibliographic data and abstracts of inventions published, granted and utility models granted since 1985 and the full text data since 1990.

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

File building

The full image data of inventions published, granted and utility models granted since 1985, as well as the bibliographic data, abstracts and main claims are added to the search file. Examiners of SIPO can search the CPRS to retrieve the desired documents. The file is updated every two weeks.
The patents relating to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) published since 1985 are deeply indexed and added to the search file, the full image data of which can be retrieved from the China TCM Patent Database by examiners of SIPO. The file is updated every three months to ensure that the data is the latest.
SIPO has 26 domestic and foreign NPL databases including the Web of Knowledge, which are updated periodically (1-2 months) by the providers.


See "File building".

Storage, including mass storage media

Except that EPOQUE system uses an independent magnetic disk array, all the other search files (patent or non-patent) are stored in uniform magnetic disk arrays and backuped with magnetic tapes.

Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file

By means of data exchange, SIPO collects the patent documentations from most countries in the world, and among these the following are included in the search file:
EPOQUE was introduced from EPO and put into production in 1998, which contains 22 databases including 3 abstract databases (WPI, EPODOC, PAJ), 11 full-text databases (TXTCHF, TXTCHG, TXTDE1, TXTEPF, TXTEPG, TXTEP1, TXTFR1, TXTGB1, TXTWOF, TXTWOG, TXTWO1), 7 classification databases (IPC1-6, ECLA) and a thesaurus database (EPOS). The new data is downloaded from the EPO server via FTP weekly to update the databases.
In addition, SIPO obtains data on optical disks from US, JP, EP, and WO regularly, and applies the image data into CPRS for examiners to search.

V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems

In-house systems (online/offline)

The following search systems are provided by SIPO:
By using a dedicated client application, examiners of SIPO can access CPRS from the desktops. The system contains the Chinese patents since 1985, and provides the search entries with the bibliographic data, abstracts, claims and keywords, via which examiners can retrieve the full image data of the patents. Besides, the system also incorporates the patent documents from US, JP, EP and WO, and its full image data can be retrievable by application number, publication number, etc.

China TCM Patent Database
China TCM Patent Database can be accessed through B/S. The database covers the patents relating to TCM since 1985, and provides 29 search entries with the bibliographic data, subjects and applications/therapeutic effects to facilitate examiners to search for the full image data of desired patents.

EPOQUE can be accessed by a dedicated client application from the desktops, which has become the main foreign documentations search system used by examiners.

Patent Search & Service System of SIPO
Since 2008, SIPO has been developing its Patent Search & Service System. The system aims at integrating all patent resources collected so far and providing some advanced search capabilities such as semantic search, all of which will effectively improve the efficiency and quality of patent examination.

Non-patent Digital Resource Portal
With MetaLib/SFX as the mainframe, non-patent digital resource portal integrates all non-patent resources of SIPO to provide an integrated search interface for examiners to retrieve the image data of the NPL.

External databases

SIPO's examiners can access STN database. Besides, they can also search the NPL databases including Web of Knowledge, Elsevier ScienceDirect, IEEE/IEE Electronic Library, EI Compendex through the hyperlinks on its official website.

Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics and administrative support)

Electronic Filing System (EFS)
SIPO launched the EFS in 2004 in order to provide online filing service for applicants. In 2007, e-PCT system was also formally put into production to accept electronic PCT-SAFE applications.

China Patent Management System Ⅲ(CPMSⅢ)
CPMSⅢ is the core supporting system for the electronic workflow management. It is provided with the functions of monitoring time limits, status and fees of patent applications, information inquiry and statistics. It also helps formality examiners to complete all kinds of notifications, offers all necessary sheet templates, and standardizes the workflow.

Computer Aided Examination System
The system includes patent examination subsystems for inventions and utility models, which can automatically fill the basic information of a patent application in various forms, offer step by step examination procedures and assist the examiners to complete the substantive examination, so as to provide the intelligent examination tool for the examiners.

China Patent Electronic Examination System
The system will provide a full electronic environment for patent examination, which can avoid the transfer of paper files internally in order to enhance the efficiency and quality of patent examination. In 2008, the system was launched to develop.

Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), carriers used

Examiners can access the Intranet with 10Gbps core switch and 100Mbps link to desktops for the network resources.

Existing online thesauri; their structure, presentation and usefulness for computerized searches

No activities.

VI. Administration of the industrial property office library, and information products and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, for assisting clients on searching procedures, for obtaining official publications and registry extracts)

Planning, administration, automation, security, buildings

The public service provided by SIPO includes:
Call center
The center offers information consultation to the public free of charge by face-to-face, telephone, online and mail.

Official website
The official website of SIPO offers search and inquiry services in both Chinese and English. The experimental platform of patent information services on the website collects more than 3 million records of Chinese patent data since 1985, and nearly 40 million pieces of English abstract from 80 countries and regions. It is the largest public information service platform.
In 2008, the official website of SIPO provided 26 thousand pieces of news with 4.27 billion hits in total.

Local Patent Information Center (LPIC)
SIPO has set up 47 local patent information centers across the country and provided them with patent data. The centers provide search and inquiry services for the public.
In 2008, SIPO equiped its patent full-text databases and unified hardware for 38 local information centers, and promoted the training of patent information services to the local personnel.

Patent Documentation Library
Patent Documentation Library is the national patent documentation and information service center. The library offers documents reading, inquiry, search, replication and training services to the public.

Intellectual Property Library
The Intellectual Property Library collects domestic and international intellectual property books, journals and electronic publications, reports the latest intellectual property trends of the countries, regions and organizations all around the word, and provides services to all staffs of SIPO.

Science and Technology Library
The Science and Technology Library collects the technical documentations used in the patent examination, which contain all the documentations listed in the PCT minimum documentation, and provides non-patent literature services for examiners.

Local Patent Receiving Offices
SIPO has set up Local Patent Receiving Offices in 24 cities all over the country in order to accept patent applications and provide inquiry service for the public.

At present, SIPO uses domain-control to control the terminal access, and uses the virus defense mechanism to avoid the virus attack. Besides, the reasonable configuration of the DMZ switch, IPS, firewall and other hardwares in the whole system also improves the security capability of the network information system.

Collecting, acquisitions, preparation

In 2008, SIPO collected 41 types of patent specifications in paper form from 37 patent authorities, 20 types of patent gazettes from 20 authorities and 63 kinds of patent search data from 94 authorities; SIPO also collected a variety of NPL and search databases thereof, as well as domestic and foreign books and periodicals.

Collection management, preservation

Books are added with the storage number and classifications and put on shelves.

Interlibrary lending, resource sharing, networks of patent libraries in the country

So far, SIPO has developed the data exchange with most offices in the world, including the raw data exchange with EPO and JPO, the content of which refers to the full image data, full text data, and also the bibliographic data and abstracts (both in Chinese and in English).

Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and patent information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web)

Information Products
"China Patent Specification" optical disk, which collects the specifications of inventions and utility models since 1985.
"China Patent Abstract Databases" optical disk, which collects nearly 3.37 million pieces of patents information (including inventions, utility models and designs) since 1985. The information of each piece includes the bibliographic data, such as the inventor, publication date, abstract, priority, legal status and main claim, etc.
"China Patent English Abstract Databases" optical disk, i.e. "ABSDAT(C)", which collects published inventions and granted utility models since 1985, containing bibliographic data and abstracts of patent in English.
"China Patent gazette" optical disk, which provides the gazettes information weekly.
SIPO also offers electronic patent gazettes on the official website:
Search services
SIPO offers the following search systems on its official website:
Patent search, provides the bibliographic data and abstracts of Chinese patent information including inventions, utility models since 1985, and the specifications of them. (Chinese) and (English)
Experimental Platform of Patent Information Services, collects nearly 40 million pieces of patent data originated from multiple countries and regions, and provides the full text search of patents from CN, US, EP and WO.
The Patent Documentation Library
By the end of 2008, the Patent Documentation Library has configured 60 computers for the public to access SIPO's intranet and Internet information resources.
Intellectual Property Library
It collects more than 8400 books, more than 130 kinds of Chinese and foreign journals. The examiners can search the law databases such as Lexis and Westlaw.
Science and Technology Library
It collects more than 50 thousand books, 800 kinds of Chinese scientific and technological journals and 700 kinds of foreign scientific and technological journals. The examiners can search the following Chinese and foreign science databases: ISI web of knowledge, Elsevier science Direct, IEL and Chinese academic periodical full-text database etc.

URLs of web pages of the Office's website for electronic filing of patent applications

SIPO provides the following website for the online filing:,
English website to provide illustrations for the online filing:

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide information on business procedures such as: filing, publication, examination and grant procedures related to patents; opposition and appeal procedures related to patents; etc.


URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide a description of information products and services offered by the Office (e.g., patent search service(s) and patent databases), as well as information on how to access and utilize them

See "Information service available to the public".

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information

International or regional cooperation in the exchange of machine-readable information, e.g., bibliographic data, abstract and/or full text information

By 2008, SIPO has collected 41 types of full-text patent specifications in 37 patent authorities, 20 types of patent gazettes from 20 authorities, and 63 patent search data from 94 authorities. The mediums include paper and DVD.
In exchange, SIPO has mutually sent official specifications to 23 authorities, official gazettes to 19 countries, and Chinese patent abstracts in English to 36 authorities in the medium of DVD.

Medium used for exchange of priority documents

Since May 2006, SIPO has begun to transmit the priority documents to WIPO through EDI, and has received the priority documents from WIPO in optical disks.

Medium allowed for filing applications

The application could be filed in both paper and electronic form.

VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries (please indicate URLs of web pages of the Office’s website wherever appropriate)

Training courses for national and foreign participants, use of audiovisual means

In 2008, the number of trainees reached 34,000 and increased by 62% over 2007.
Since recognized by WIPO as a partner of the WIPO network of intellectual property international training institutes and obtained WIPO Citation for Excellence in Intellectual Property Training, SIPO has made new achievements in international cooperation under a great diversity of programs. In 2008, SIPO actively conducted external training and teaching activities, completing 27 external training courses covering examination practice and general administration and preliminarily formed an external training course system. Besides, SIPO also worked with WIPO to provide DL101 course. By the year of 2008, 19 sessions of DL 101 course have been opened and about 7,000 trainees studied the course.
Since the Platform of China Long-distance Learning in IP was put into use in 2002, SIPO has opened 35 sessions. 50,000 trainees studied IP through the long-distance learning program.

Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)

In 2008, SIPO established a special fund for training of IP talents in developing countries for the first time, conducting multiple training activities towards developing countries including examiners from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Patent Office, NOIP and DPRK Invention Office. SIPO also used Asia Regional Cooperation Fund and China-ASEAN Cooperation Fund to train more than 40 representatives from Asian countries and organizations.

Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)

In March, an IP seminar on SMEs in China, Japan and Korea was held in Tokyo with some 40 participants.
In May, the helpdesk of SIPO and Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) formally started operation in Singapore.
From May 8 to 9, SIPO and WIPO jointly organized the Second Symposium for Heads of Intellectual Property Academies in Beijing. Twenty-nine representatives from 17 countries, regions and international organizations including WIPO, USPTO, JPO and EPO attended the symposium. The symposium approved Beijing Action Plan, solidifying the communication platform of Worldwide Academy Net.
In June, SIPO, African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and WIPO jointly organized the first Workshop for Heads of Intellectual Property Offices in Beijing.
In 2008, US Chamber of Commerce, American Chamber of Commerce in China, United States International Trade Commission, Intellectual Property Owners Organization of the United States, American Bar Association, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Intel and many other delegations visited the office to exchange views on relevant IP issues. Five technical presentation seminars were held with Nissan, Olympus, EPSON (China), Battery R&D Association of Korea and LG Display Inc. respectively, updating SIPO examiners with latest developments in technical fields, which would refresh their knowledge and increase examination quality.
In 2008, CIPTC held 99 face-to-face training seminars with the attendance of 10,400 trainees, among which there were 10 international training seminars with the attendance of 379 trainees, including "WIPO-SIPO Academy on Intellectual Property for Decision Makers" "Senior Seminar on Asian Regional Intellectual Property System", and legal training with the John Marshall Law School and Benjamnin N.Cardozo School of Law,Yeshiva University.
Every year, SIPO organizes several international symposia and seminars together with WIPO and EPO. The speakers and trainees have given their lectures or have been trained in SIPO from more than 50 international organizations and countries like WIPO, ARIPO, EPO, etc. SIPO also received 170 foreign visitors from international organizations and foreign countries, such as EPO, IP Office of UK, Canadian IP Office, IP Australia, etc.
In national IP training and advertising aspects, SIPO completed 7 training seminars for IP professionals. About 1,174 persons were trained, including 2 sessions of new examiner training seminars for about 439 trainees between May and December, 5 training seminars for 560 local officials in IP and 4 training seminars for about 500 patent agents.
SIPO held 2 training seminars for western region, respectively 9th Training Seminar on IP in Tibet and Training Seminar for Enterprises in Western Region for about 220 trainees.
SIPO has co-organized 30 seminars and symposia with 32 other organizations for 3,600 people, for instance, the Symposium on Amendment of the Patent Law and Trademark Law with the Chinese Academy of Social Science, the Advanced Seminar on the IP Judicial Protection with Beijing First Intermediate Court, Training Seminar for Judges at Basic - level with the Supreme People's Court and LL,M program with China University of Political Science and Law, etc.

Studies to identify trends in new technology, e.g., by the use of patent statistics and preparation of monographs

In 2008, SIPO developed science researches in many technological fields, including the hybrid electric vehicles, humanoid robot, MRL elevator, network security, supercapacitor, structure of mobile phone, medicine for malignant tumor chemotherapy, super-rice breeding, medicine for AIDS prevention, luminescent materials, CT/MRI three-dimensional images, battery charge-discharge test, photoresist, microwave oven, and high temperature resistant and wave-transmitting inorganic materials with low dielectric loss.

Assistance furnished by offices to facilitate the changing over of receiving offices to electronic data carriers for the exchange of patent documents (see also fourth sub-item of item VI, above)

SIPO is willing to establish data exchange with other offices, and offers patent data in various forms including CD/DVD. To increase exchange efficiency, SIPO has set up a FTP server for updating front files.

IX. Other general information related to the Office that is available on the Internet -- URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that:

provide information on legislation related to patents


contain the Annual Report of the Office


if necessary, provide further information related to the topics referred to in the current ATR


provide open source codes related to patent information systems

No activities.

contain patent-related news regarding the Office


X. Other relevant matters

1.Classification is allotting one or more classification symbols (e.g., IPC symbols) to a patent application, either before or during search and examination, which symbols are then published with the patent application.

2.Preclassification is allotting an initial broad classification symbol (e.g., IPC class or subclass, or administrative unit) to a patent application, using human or automated means for internal administrative purposes (e.g., routing an application to the appropriate examiner).  Usually preclassification is applied by the administration of an office.

3.Reclassification is the reconsideration and usually the replacement of one or more previously allotted classification symbols to a patent document, following a revision and the entry into force of a new version of the Classification system (e.g., the IPC).  The new symbols are available on patent databases.