Collier Legal

The China Patent Office: An Overview

china patent office


Does China have a patent office?

Yes. The China Patent Office is called The China National Intellectual Property Administration (“CNIPA”). The CNIPA is located in Beijing, and the English version of its website can be found here.

How do I look up a Chinese patent?

Go to the China Patent Office website English version. Under the “Resources” tab, select “Patent Search” on the left side of the dropdown menu. If you followed the link above, look on the right side of the page under “Search” and select “Patent”.

How much does it cost to file a patent in China?

Filing Fees:

  • Invention — CNY 900
  • Utility Model — CNY 500
  • Design — CNY 500

Publication Fee — CNY 50

Substantive Examination Fee — CNY 2500

Total Base Fees for Invention Applications — CNY 3450

China’s currency is CNY (aka “yuan” and “RMB”). At the time of writing this article, the exchange rate is 7.24 CNY to 1 USD. Therefore, the base fee in USD is $476.52.

How do I file a Chinese patent?

To file for a patent in Mainland China, the following documents must be submitted:

  1. request letter
  2. abstract
  3. one or more claims
  4. written description + drawings
  5. (if applicable) nucleotide / amino acid sequences

Note: a foreigner cannot self-file a patent application in China. You must file the application through an appointed patent agency.

What inventions cannot be patented in China?

According to an article written by the European Patent Office (EPO), the following items are not patentable in China: 

  • any invention-creation that is contrary to the law or social morality or that is detrimental to public interest
  • invention-creations relying on genetic resources of which the acquisition or use is not consistent with the provisions of the laws and regulations
  • scientific discoveries
  • rules and methods for mental activities
  • methods for the diagnosis or treatment of diseases
  • animal and plant varieties
  • substances obtained by means of nuclear transformation
  • two-dimensional designs of images or colours or combinations of the two that mainly serve as indicators

What inventions cannot be patented in China? 2024, accessed 1 June 2024, <https://www.epo.org/en/service-support/faq/searching-patents/asian-patent-information/china/general-information-about-2>.

How do I protect my patent in China?

If you have a US patent, you can convert it into a PCT application by entering the international stage with WIPO. You can then file your international application at the national stage with the China Patent Office.

How long does a Chinese patent take?

The average time for a Chinese patent to go from filing to issuance is 3 years.

Should I get a patent in China?

China is one of the most populated countries in the world. If you plan to do business outside of the US, there are 3 big reasons why you should consider getting a patent in China:

  1. it is a huge market of potential buyers for your invention;
  2. China is a popular location for outsourced manufacturing, and a patent would protect against manufacturer IP theft;
  3. China has a large number of online IP infringers and knock-off sellers that a patent would help protect against.

What is the new patent law in China?

China updated its patent laws in 2020 by adding the option to patent partial designs via design patents. China also extended the design patent term from 10 years to 15 years.

What is the 15 day patent rule in China?

The China Patent Office previously allowed a 15-day grace period for patent application responsive deadlines. However, as of January 20, 2024, that 15-day grace period has been revoked.

Are US patents enforceable in China?

Generally, no patent is enforceable against infringers in countries other than the issuing country. However, China is a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The PCT provides applicants in participating countries to file expedited applications in other member countries. Thus, the holder of a US patent may take the patent to the international stage through the PCT and then file with the CNIPA. 


Attorney Collier started his own law firm straight out of law school and has been practicing law in Ohio for 5+ years. During that time, Joe focused on business law and litigation, gaining some exposure to intellectual property law. While running his firm in 2021, Joe decided to go back to school and get his patent license. Since then, Attorney Collier has been focusing on protecting innovators and entrepreneurs through his expertise in intellectual property and business law.

Schedule A Consultation