What does the right of priority mean?

The right of priority originates from the Paris Convention for The Protection of Industrial Property for the convenience of people from the member country to apply for patent or trademark in the other member countries after submitting same application in his or it own country. The so-called priority means an applicant has the right to apply for protection of his or its patent or trademark, in a fixed duration, in all member countries after submitting the application in one of the member countries, and thus his or its application in other member countries shall be regarded, in some respects, the filing day as the date of the first application. In other words, in a fixed duration, this applicant, comparing others applying for the same subject matter after, enjoys the priority privilege. This is the origin of priority right. With the progress of patent system, priority right has expanded from solely in foreign countries to the applicant's country. According to the article 29 of the Patent Law of PRC, within twelve months from the date on which any applicant first files in a foreign country an application for a patent for invention or utility model, or within six months from the date on which any applicant first files in a foreign country an application for a patent for design, he or it files in China an application for a patent for the same subject matter, he or it may, in accordance with any agreement concluded between the said foreign country and China, or in accordance with any international treaty to which both countries are party, or on the basis of the principle of mutual recognition of the right of priority, enjoy a right of priority. The duration of priority right starts from the second day of submitting the first application.