China assigns patent examination procedures related to new technologies such as blockchain

China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA) will continue to clarify the procedures for patent applications, which may come into effect on February 1. China’s State Intellectual Property Office has revised its manual to specify patent examination procedures related to new technologies such as blockchain.

NIPA of China announced a set of guidelines in late December as a new patent application system for emerging innovations in blockchain, artificial intelligence, business rules, and methods as well as big data.

The revision includes access and device instructions for secure communication between blockchain nodes. That is, the invention patent application proposes a blockchain node method and device to address the challenge of blockchain business nodes leaking private data in the process of communicating with each other.

The establishment of a communication connection by a business node in the blockchain can be based on the CA certificate carried in the communication request and the preconfigured CA trust list. This will limit the possibility of private data leakage by a business node and enhance data security in the blockchain.

When examining the novelty of a patent touching an algorithm or business rule, the revised manual says that the office should not consider any technical feature to be an isolated item. Instead, it is necessary to consider the proposed technology, the challenges it seeks to solve, and the expected technical outcome to be a package and to make appropriate decisions.

By the end of 2019, China saw more than 12,300 blockchain-related patents filed, records from the incoPat global patent database show. In 2019 alone, there were more than 4,295 patent applications related to blockchain technology, with Tencent, Alibaba, and ReeChain forming the top three candidates.

The goal of the latest version is to streamline the patent registration process when it comes to new technologies and increase patent enforcement in this regard, experts told Chinese news outlet Mars Finance.

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