The patent law is to protect the invention and creation. It is the exclusive right of the law to grant the inventor exclusive protection. Invention Patent means any new technical solution relating to a product, a method, or an improvement thereof.
Utility Model Patent
Utility Model means any new technical solution relating to the shape, the structure or their combination of a product.
Design means any new design of the shape (including color, packaging, decoration or pattern), or the combination of the product, which creates an aesthetic feeling and is fit for industrial application.
Patents are obtained to protect invention and creation. The patent owners’ invention and creation is protected by patent law. In general, a patent gives the inventor an exclusive right to use his invention.
Patent protection is only territorial. The patent owner who has obtained registration for his invention and creation or authorization in a country or region, does not mean that his invention and creation is automatically protected in other countries or regions.
The requirement for an eligible patent is that the invention must not have been disclosed to the public prior to the application for the patent. In addition, the invention must be novel, meaning it should have significant progress to next step of an already patented invention. Lastly, it must have practical use and be able to be mass produced and used in daily life.
Design Registration patent refers to any new design of shape including color, packaging, decoration or pattern. Non-stationary substance, such as a gas or liquid, cannot be protected by design registration patent.
The patent owner may exercise his legal right conferred by the invention or utility model patent to prevent others from making, using, offering to sell, selling or importing the patented product, thereby protecting the exclusive rights of the invention. The patent holder has the right to make or sell the patented process and the right of creation, and can prohibit other party to use the technology directly obtained by the patented process without his authorization.
A patent has a different term in different place. Hong Kong short-term patents can be renewed for up to 8 years from the fourth year after the date of filing. Standard patents are renewable annually and are valid for up to 20 years. In China, invention patent is valid for 20 years. Chinese utility model patents and design patents are valid for 10 years, and they may apply for renewal procedures before the expiration of the validity of the patent.
The maximum validity for a design registration patent varies with each region. Generally, the duration is 5 years protection for a Hong Kong design registration and it is renewable for periods of 5 years up to a maximum of 25 years. A China design registration is valid for a maximum period of 10 years, during which it needs to be renewed each year.