Priority claims at the EPO from Chinese applications
The EPO announced that, as of 3 September 2012, automatic electronic exchange of priority documents with the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) will occur. Thus, where an applicant files with SIPO a patent application, and afterwards, files with the EPO a patent application claiming priority from that earlier filing, the EPO will automatically retrieve a copy of the previous application documents from SIPO to meet the requirements of the EPC for furnishing priority documents. This mirrors a similar arrangement that the EPO has in place with the Japanese Patent Office and the USPTO.
Of course the arrangement also works in reverse for applications claiming priority from earlier European applications.
The agreement between the EPO and SIPO only applies to priority-claiming applications filed on or after September 3, 2012.