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Protecting business model-related inventions | China Business Law Journal

Protecting business model-related inventions | China Business Law Journal

While the competitive edge of a resourceful organization design is outside of doubt, safeguarding it as a patent is a further issue entirely, requiring cautious thing to consider of assessment criteria.

A business product is a strategy for making profits primarily based on business principles. A novel company design performs a vital purpose in the survival and progress of an organization.

Examination conditions pertaining to patent eligibility and inventiveness for organization model-relevant innovations, aiming for sensible and powerful patent defense of those inventions, are clarified in two variations of the Patent Evaluation Rules issued by the China Countrywide Intellectual Home Administration (CNIPA), which took effect on 1 April 2017 and 1 February 2020m, respectively.


Deng Yi, Sanyou Intellectual Property Agency
Deng Yi
Partner, Director of the Japanese E&M II Division
Sanyou Mental House Agency

Short article 25 of the Patent Regulation supplies that patents shall not be granted for principles and methods of mental activity. The suggestions further more provide that a small business product made up of both equally principles and approaches of mental activity and technological characteristics must not be excluded from patentability.

In addition, according to posting 2(2) and related interpretations in the guidelines, a specialized alternative suitable for patent shall have a few simultaneous features, particularly, the specialized trouble, specialized indicates, and specialized outcome. A remedy that does not employ specialized usually means for solving a complex difficulty to attain a specialized influence conforming to the regulations of mother nature is not patent suitable.


Element II, chapter 9, part 6.2 of the tips gives a process for functioning a shared bicycle as a positive case in point, and a strategy for use rebate as a detrimental illustration.

In the example of the shared bicycle, the user’s behaviour is managed and guided by executing a computer system programme on the terminal machine and server, which includes gathering and processing this kind of facts as place and authentication information and facts. Thus this approach embodies the a few features, and is patent- suitable.

In the consumption rebate example, a personal computer calculates the rebate sum dependent on the user’s consumption volume. In this, the pc, as an entity for performing the technique, can be regarded as a specialized feature, and hence the approach need to not be excluded from the likelihood of getting a patent.

Nevertheless, as the rebate rule embodied in this strategy is no extra than a gentleman-made rule, and does not require the legal guidelines of nature, the three elements – complex problem, specialized means and complex effects – are not presented in this technique, so it is not patent-qualified.


For patent eligibility, it is not adequate to merely introduce an execution entity for the professional rules (e.g. pcs). Somewhat, it is also to be judged irrespective of whether the procedures done by the execution entity comply with the legal guidelines of mother nature, and whether the a few elements of specialized trouble, specialized means and complex influence are concerned.


Element II, chapter 9, portion 6 of the suggestions supplies that assessment of the inventiveness of enterprise product-related inventions really should be primarily based on the conditions that take into account the small business principles, methodological options and complex capabilities that “functionally help each individual other in an interactive manner” as integral.

This refers to business enterprise regulations and methodological capabilities getting intently integrated with technical capabilities to type the specialized means for fixing a technological problem and attaining the corresponding complex effect.

The tips more present that if implementation of the business principles and methodological features bundled in a declare include adaptation or enhancement of complex functions, it can be concluded that the business enterprise rules, methodological features and complex functions functionally assist each other in an interactive way, and the contribution of the company policies and methodological attributes to the technological solution shall be taken into consideration in the evaluation of inventiveness.


Portion II, chapter 9, section 6.2 of the tips presents an example of method for logistics and supply, remarking that the variance amongst the claimed strategy and the “prior art” manufactured obtainable lies in the batch notification of buy deliveries.

To accomplish the batch notification, the data architecture and information conversation among the server, logistics terminal and user terminal are adapted accordingly. The procedures for shipping notification and specific implementation of batch notification functionally assistance every other in an interactive method, expanding effectiveness of the shipping and delivery.

The pointers further remark that the consumer working experience is improved from the standpoint of becoming knowledgeable of the shipping more rapidly, concluding that the claimed system signifies an inventive action over prior artwork.


(1) Organization principles and methodological options may add to integral inventiveness together with technical functions, as extensive as they functionally support just about every other in an interactive way.

(2) The simple fact that the “implementation of the organization principles and methodological attributes consists of adaptation or improvement of the specialized means” can be an important indicator in judging if they “functionally help every single other in an interactive manner”.

(3) Business model-connected inventions basically contain variations or improvements to application procedures, such as data architecture and facts communication, relatively than modifications to the framework or overall performance of hardware.

(4) Enhancement of the user experience brought about by specialized usually means comprising complex capabilities and small business procedures can be taken as a complex influence.


The two amendments to the Patent Examination Suggestions, in 2017 and 2020, provide clearer evaluation criteria for business enterprise model-linked inventions. Carefully follow the provisions of the recommendations relating to patent eligibility and inventiveness when drafting software documents and responding to examination thoughts.

To be certain that each patent eligibility and inventiveness are fulfilled and shielded, pay back mindful consideration to the need that “business rules and complex characteristics ought to functionally guidance every other in an interactive manner”.

Mi Tai Wan Rui Law Firm intellectual property

Sanyou Mental Assets Agency
16/F, Block A, Company Sq.
No.35 Jinrong Avenue, Beijing 100033, China
Tel: +86 10 8809 1921 / 8809 1922
Fax: +86 10 8809 1920
E-mail: [email protected]