Foreign companies that make discoveries in China would have to file for a patent in China before anywhere else or risk losing protection of their intellectual property, according to proposed changes to the country’s patent law. Another proposal calls for the introduction of an "absolute novelty" standard, which would make it more difficult to obtain a patent in China for inventions already in use overseas. Experts said the changes, which could come into effect this year, would make it easier to challenge rogue Chinese patents, the Financial Times reported. However, the experts also warned that conditions are likely to become more challenging for foreign firms conducting research in China. At present, most of these firms choose to file for patent protection in their home countries, where patent legislation is more mature and robust than in China.