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Patent law revised to encourage innovation
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China's top legislature on Saturday approved the revision of the Patent Law to allow inventors to apply for foreign patents before domestic ones for their inventions.

The revised law, which takes effect on Oct. 1, 2009, was adopted with 154 votes and four abstentions at the closing meeting of the sixth session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

The change is aimed at encouraging innovation and improving China's "international competitiveness", Chen Guangjun, a senior official with the NPC's Education, Science, Culture and Health Committee, said at a press conference after the legislative session.

Previously, the Patent Law stipulated that people, whose inventions were completed in China, must apply for domestic patents first before applying for a foreign one.

The new amendment also says Chinese inventors must first go through government scrutiny before applying for foreign patents to find out if such innovations should be made national secrets.

Inventions which have not undergone security checks will not be granted Chinese patents, according to the law.

The amendment applies to all inventions completed in China.

The Patent Law, which was enacted 1985, has had two major revisions in the past.

(Xinhua News Agency December 28, 2008)

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