On 4 February 2013, the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) published proposed amendments to its Examination Guidelines (2010) for public comment. The amendments concern a possible introduction of an optional substantive examination for utility models and designs. According to SIPO, the aim is to further raise the quality of these two types of rights.
Specifically, the amendments concern Part I, Chapter 2, Rules 11 and 13 of the Examination Guidelines, where it has been proposed to delete the expression "not determined by search" with respect to utility models. The same amendment applies to Part I, Chapter 3, Rules 8 and 11, which contain the corresponding provisions for designs.
The public may submit comments until 18 March 2013. The contact address for comments, a Chinese version of the draft amendments and further explanations can be found on SIPO's Chinese website