Patent Knowledge Snippets

Sequence listings in ST.25 txt format

From 1 November 2022, you can view and download sequence listings filed in ST.25 txt format from the All documents view of the Register. This will make it easier to search, process and disseminate sequence listings.

When available, these files are identified as Sequence listing in the All documents view, and a dash is indicated instead of a number in the Number of pages column.

Figure 1 ST25
Fig. 1 Example of a dash instead of a number in the Number of pages column (click to enlarge)

You can download ST.25 sequence listings from the Register via Selected documents or Zip Archive. In both cases, the sequence listing will be downloaded in a zipped file to the local file system. 

If you select and download other documents in addition to the sequence listing, the other documents will be downloaded together in a single PDF file when you use Selected documents or individually as a collection of PDF files when you use Zip Archive. See the examples below.

Figure 2 ST25
Fig. 2 When you download using Selected documents, documents other than the sequence listing are downloaded together in a single PDF file (click to enlarge)

Figure 3 ST25
Fig. 3 When you download using Zip Archive, documents other than the sequence listing are downloaded individually as a collection of PDF files (click to enlarge)

China – four million patents granted in ten years, and how you can keep track of them

In June, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) issued its 2021 Annual Report. The report states that 1.59 million patents and 2.85 million utility models were filed in 2021. While the number of patents grew by 5.9%, the number of utility models showed a slight decrease of 2.5%. 

A total number of 696 000 patents were granted last year. According to an article in China Daily, this means that almost 4 million patents have been granted since 2012, with an average annual increase of around 14%. About the same number of Chinese patents - around 4.1 million - are currently in force. 

When monitoring the legal status of pending applications and granted patents in China, it is best not only to rely on the data available in Espacenet but also to use resources provided by the CNIPA, such as the Patent Gazette or the CPQUERY database. This is essential, for instance, when checking annual fee payments (visible in CPQUERY, and not in EPO tools). 

To help you in your daily work with Chinese patent data, the EPO provides various guides with step-by-step instructions on how to access essential information such as fee payments and other post-grant data in these Chinese sources.   

Figure 4 China
Fig. 4: Extract from an EPO guide to accessing Chinese legal status information in the CNIPA's Patent Gazette. See the Searching in databases - China EPO webpage.



Vietnam – Major amendments to national IP legislation

On 1 January 2023, a comprehensive revision of Vietnam's IP law will enter into force. Some of the most important changes include:

  1. The introduction of a pre-grant opposition process

This will allow any third party to file a request for opposition within nine months of the publication of the application (after 18 months from filing/priority). Prior to this, third parties could challenge a pending application only by submitting an observation to the patent office. This third-party observation process will continue in parallel with the new opposition process.

  1. Additional grounds for requesting invalidation 

Until now, third parties could request invalidation of a patent where the invention did not meet the requirements for patentability or where the patent was granted to a person who was not entitled to it. According to the new regulations, invalidation can also be requested on the following additional grounds:

  • an application is based on traditional knowledge or genetic resources but does not sufficiently disclose the origin of the genetic resources or traditional knowledge 
  • the invention has not been sufficiently disclosed 
  • the applicant has submitted amendments beyond the scope of the original subject matter 
  • the invention does not meet the first to file requirement

Any third party may request invalidation at any time on any of these grounds.

  1. The use of foreign examination results

The changes to the law allow the national patent office to use the examination results of corresponding patent applications made abroad during the substantive examination of an application in Vietnam. This will likely accelerate the examination procedure and result in faster turnaround. 


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