The Patent Reexamination and Invalidation Department (PRID) of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) maintained the validity of Chinese design patent No. ZL201730205645.3 (the ’645 patent) in an invalidation proceeding.[1] The PRID held that the patented designs are patentable because the more squared-off design of the ’645 patent is significantly different compared to the more rounded corners of the prior designs for smartwatches having square faceplate for “general consumers.” The PRID stated that it is common for a smartwatch to have a square faceplate and therefore “general consumers” would notice specific shape changes of the square faceplate and find the patented design “significantly different” from the prior design.

Faceplate of the ’645 patent

Faceplate of a prior design


[1] No. 48204, see

http://reexam-app.cnipa.gov.cn/reexam_out2020New/searchdoc/decidedetail.jsp?jdh=48204&lx=wx.

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Photo of Aolei Li Aolei Li

Aolei Li is a patent consultant in Perkins Coie’s Intellectual Property practice at the Shanghai office. Her practice focuses on patent prosecution.

Photo of Mia Xia Mia Xia

Min (Mia) Xia is patent consultant in Perkins Coie’s Intellectual Property practice. She focuses on patent prosecution and counseling to help clients achieve their strategic goals. She previously worked as a patent examiner of CNIPA, where she examined patents in the fields of…

Min (Mia) Xia is patent consultant in Perkins Coie’s Intellectual Property practice. She focuses on patent prosecution and counseling to help clients achieve their strategic goals. She previously worked as a patent examiner of CNIPA, where she examined patents in the fields of control engineering, display technology, virtual reality systems, interactive multimedia systems, automatic teller machines and methods, and home appliances. In addition, Mia is also experienced in patent analysis and patent search.

Photo of Yingli Wang Yingli Wang

Dr. Yingli Wang is partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property practice, with a primary focus on biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and polymer/material industry. Yingli leads the patent group in the firm’s Shanghai office.