The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) recently issued the Measures for Administration of the Establishment of Resident Representative Offices in China by Foreign Patent Agencies (hereinafter referred to as "the Measures"). Before then, the CNIPA launched a pilot program concerning the establishment of resident representative offices in China by foreign patent agencies in Beijing, Jiangsu and some parts of Guangdong.
The Measures explicitly stipulates that the establishment of resident representative offices in China by foreign patent agencies is a natural part of the patent agency industry. The CNIPA and the intellectual property administration department of the provincial government shall govern the representative offices and their representatives according to law. Meanwhile, in accordance with the principle of equality, the state's policies and measures for supporting the development of the intellectual property services may equally apply to the representative offices.
The Measures stipulates that the establishment of a resident representative office in China by a foreign patent agency shall be approved by the CNIPA. The CNIPA shall make a decision within three months from the date of receipt of the application. A foreign patent agency shall, within 90 days from the date of approval by the CNIPA, apply to the registration authority for registration of establishment according to law. The intellectual property administration department of the provincial government where the representative office is located shall put the representative office on record according to law.
Regarding the possible law-breaking behaviors of representative offices and their representatives, the Measures stipulates the legal responsibilities that representative offices or representatives should take according to law. The Measures stipulates that the CNIPA and the intellectual property administration department of the provincial government may have warning conversations with representative offices and their staff who have law-breaking behaviors to urge them to make timely rectifications or conduct investigations or, if necessary, bring them to relevant departments according to law. (Source: People's Daily Online)