A few examples would illustrate the problem: Below are publication numbers without entry into substantive examination phase for patents granted in State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO): CN1167313C CN1192475C CN1195142C

Hence, the question is why is the date not available?

  • I'm not sure that the date of entry into substantive examination is meaningful in terms of the rights a patent provides. I do not thing such an event is even given a date in the US.
    – George White
    Mar 5, 2018 at 20:41
  • 1
    Yes, the date is not useful in terms of the rights, however my objective is to calculate the grant lag of a patent. It can be defined in two ways: (1) grant date minus request for examination date, and (2) grant date minus application date. Only in China the request for examination is available, other offices do not provide this date. Papers which try to explain the delay in granting of a patent in China use the first definition. Mar 6, 2018 at 5:34

1 Answer 1


The date is not universally available in a summary like INPADOC because it provides no information regarding the patent holders rights and is not even universally recognized as an event in all patent systems.

  • While you're right (as far as I know) about it not affecting patent rights, it's still an important step in a Chinese patent application specifically (and a few other countries too), because it affects your rights during prosecution. For example, voluntary amendments are limited shortly after substantive examination starts. And if substantive examination is not entered within a certain period of the filing date, the application lapses. Since this is reasonably important, INPADOC usually published it.
    – Maca
    Mar 6, 2018 at 19:51

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