The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) and the European Patent Office (EPO) have reached a consensus. Beginning from July 1, 2021, there will be no need to submit a copy of the prior application search report made by the CNIPA when filing with the EPO an European patent application, or an application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) enters the European phase, claiming priority from an earlier application in China. Refer to the website of the EPO (website: www.epo.org) for specific operational guidance.
The smooth cooperation between the CNIPA and the EPO in data exchange over the years has provided an important technical guarantee for the implementation of this policy. This policy will further simplify the application process and improve the efficiency of patent application in Europe. It is also another latest achievement of comprehensive strategic cooperation of the CNIPA and the EPO, following the launch of a pilot project of International Searching Authority (ISA) under the PCT.
The EPO was one of the first patent offices to establish a partnership with the CNIPA. For 36 years, the two offices have maintained friendly and cooperative relations and elevated their cooperation to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2017.
(Source: the website of the CNIPA)