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Recently, the Intellectual Property Publishing House (IPPH) of SIPO has made some changes to its Chinese CNIPR patent search database. The search interface remains the same, but the features which can be used free of charge have been further limited. Users may still search with numbers to check the bibliographic data and abstracts of Chinese patents, utility models and designs. Via a separate search mask, legal status data can still be retrieved using application numbers.
Display of documents, drawings and main claim, however, has now become available for registered users only. As previously, citations, family members and the text data of claims and description remain accessible only to subscribed users.
Free search and retrieval of Chinese documents is possible on the interfaces of SIPO's patent gazette (Chinese only) and "Patent Search and Service System" (Chinese and English interfaces). The EPO offers step-by-step guides for using these sources in the "China - Searching in databases" section of its virtual helpdesk on Asian patent information.