The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) hosted a U.S./China Biotechnology Examiner Workshop with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) on March 28, 2011 in Beijing, China. The workshop which was organized by BIO for SIPO examiners, focused on biotechnology patenting and encouraged bilateral cooperation between SIPO and the USPTO.
The workshop was the first of a series of meetings intended to open communication and establish a relationship between the two groups. BIO will work with the SIPO to strengthen China’s regulatory system to encourage innovation and protect intellectual property within the country. The commitment of SIPO will be critical for sending a message to companies that want to do business in China.
“Since most Chinese attendees are examiners of intellectual property, [the workshop] provides an opportunity to share experiences and ideas with our American counterparts,” said Yang Xiaowei, deputy Director General of International Cooperation Department of SIPO.
In each of three panels, USPTO and SIPO speakers discussed how each issue is handled by the pertinent provisions in their current patent law and rules. They also addressed office practice and shared practical experiences with the different technical arts in biotech.
The workshop featured the following panels:
- The first panel focused on taking a balanced approach to written description and enablement requirements, which are necessary for preventing impediments to patenting activity. Panelists also discussed the type of information that is required for an invention to satisfy the written description and enablement requirements.
- The second panel focused on issues arising from claims with sequence homology. Panelists discussed the scope of claims using homology or percent of sequence identity language and issues that often arise during examination.
- The third panel addressed meeting discussed China’s new requirements for patent disclosure for genetic resources, stakeholders’ experiences with China’s new genetic disclosure requirement, and alternative ways to ensure appropriate access and benefit sharing.
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