The14th session of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Working Group of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was held in Geneva, Switzerland from 14 to 17 June. Dong Cheng, Director of the Patent Examination Cooperation Guangdong Center of Patent Office, CNIPA was re-elected as the chairman of the meeting and presided over the meeting through online means.
This meeting continues to be held in a hybrid format with both physical presence and remote participation. The working group mainly discussed issues regarding the improvement of PCT system and its future development, including the amendments to the PCT Administrative Instructions, the integration of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) into the PCT system, and the concurrent payment services for PCT fees. With the full support of the working team of the CNIPA, WIPO China Office and WIPO Secretariat, the Chairman led the discussion of various agendas smoothly, especially the approval for the proposed amendments to the PCT Administrative Instructions. According to the proposal, in case of a large disruption of PCT services caused by COVID-19, the competent authorities, international authorities and International Bureaus can provide for the mechanism of guarantees for the protection of applicants' rights, including recognition of the causes of non-compliance with the deadlines and extension of the set deadlines for a number of circumstances. The above amendments provide for the coordination of PCT Member States to take relief measures for applicants during the pandemic. The Chinese delegation actively participated in discussions on various topics and constructively promoted their progress.
Despite the slowdown of economic growth in countries brought by COVID-19, China has made major strategic achievements in its response to the disease and people's enthusiasm for making innovations remains rising in the country. In 2020, the number of PCT patent applications in China ranked first in the world for the second year. China actively participated in the series meetings of WIPO PCT Working Group, and its outstanding representative served as the Chairman of PCT Working Group Meeting again, which reflected the country's deep participation in global IP governance under WIPO framework and contributed Chinese approach to the improvement of international IP rules.(Translated from CNIPA Website Chinese Version)