The National Intellectual Property Administration recently announced new rules for patent agents and agencies. They will include supervision, punishment and law enforcement.
NIPA called for patent agencies to conduct self-regulation and sign a pledge to act lawfully and ethically. It also called on local authorities to investigate lawbreaking patent agents and agencies and punish them. NIPA will supervise related illegal cases if needed and make sure they are well dealt with.
NIPA said it would collect information about illegal behavior from members of the public, investigate and transfer tipoffs to local bureaus.
NIPA plans to withdraw policy support for agencies which applied for unlawful patent applications in the first half of 2019.
By the end of August, NIPA will launch an investigation into agencies that applied for improper patent applications in 2019. It also called for the cooperation of local authorities to investigate the improper validation of IP-related certificates.
In addition, NIPA will investigate and punish bad behavior aimed at attracting business for patent agents.
This is for those who placed dishonest advertisements and committed fraud by pretending to be a staff member of State organs.
NIPA will also guide the industries to self-regulate, record all claims of illegal acts by patent agents from the public, train employees of patent agencies to increase their professional awareness and strengthen regulation of patent agencies and agents, according to the announcement.
In April, NIPA initiated a campaign to crack down on improper and illegal patent agents. The campaign will run from April to November during 2019-20.
"Patent agents and agencies play a key role in transforming innovative results into patents," Lei Xiaoyun, director of the IP utilization and promotion department at NIPA told Xinhua News Agency.
The campaign aims to strengthen supervision of patent agents, so as to optimize the innovation and business environment in the country, she said.
With the application of the campaign, NIPA will have a diversified supervision system in a bid to promote its supervision efficiency, she added.