Patent prosecution in Israel
Filing a patent application in Israel is relatively inexpensive. Official fees are low and applications may be filed in English, thus eliminating translation costs. Moreover, accelerated or modified examination often results in speedy grant of patent applications, according to Israeli law, applications approved by the USPTO, EP and PCT authorities may be granted in Israel after only a formal, and hence low cost, examination.The Israeli legal system is well developed. Precedents in US or European law are frequently applied in local patent litigation. Israel is a signatory to the Patent Convention Treaty (PCT) and may be designated in PCT applications, enabling a National Phase application to be filed in Israel at the end of the PCT period.
Israeli Patent Law does not explicitly define what an invention is, but rather specifies the characteristics that an invention must possess in order to be patentable. The invention must be:
Novel, that is unpublished anywhere in the world, whether in written, visual or vocal form, or by exploitation or exhibition in such a way that an individual knowledgeable in the field could make use of the material;
Capable of industrial or agricultural application; and
Possessing an inventive step which would not have been obvious to a “man skilled in the art” in light of the information available prior to the Israeli filing date.
Therapeutic treatments of the human body are not patentable.
Diagnostic methods for the human body are patentable.
New varieties of animals or plants are not presently patentable, other than microbiological organisms not derived from nature.
Filing a patent application in Israel is broadly similar to filing an application in the US or other major jurisdictions. The minimum requirements for a first filing are as follows:
Invention title, full specification, claims and drawings
Application form stating applicant’s name and address
Official filing fee (approximately $250).
A Power of Attorney, though this may be submitted up to three months from the initial filing date. No notarization or legalization is required.
Applications may be filed in Hebrew, Arabic or English. The majority of applications in Israel are filed in English.
The applicant may be the inventor, or alternatively, a person or corporation who has acquired ownership from the inventor. Applications may be submitted in the name of more than one applicant.
As in other jurisdictions, priority may be claimed under the Paris Convention if the Israeli application was filed within one year from the priority filing. Priority must be claimed within two months of the Israeli filing and a certified copy of the priority document must be submitted to the Israeli Patent Office within twelve months.
Entry into the National Phase of the PCT in Israel is 30 months from the priority date. Minimum PCT National Phase Filing Requirements are a copy of specification and drawings, certified translation into English if necessary, application form, official filing fee, and any amendments introduced during the international phase.
Substantive examination is initiated automatically by the ILPTO, typically within three to four years of filing. Applications are examined according to order of filing--the examiner issues an Office Action, following which the applicant may amend the application or submit arguments in response to the examiner’s findings. The number of such exchanges is unlimited and does not require payment of any additional official fees except requests for time extensions.
The Israeli Patents Law allows applicants to submit a reasonable request for accelerated examination. If the request is granted, examination will normally commence shortly afterwards and is typically speedier than regular examination, often resulting in a patent being issued within a year of filing.
Under Section 17 of the Israeli Patents Law, an application may be granted without substantive examination on the basis of a corresponding patent issued for an application filed in a recognized jurisdiction, such as the United States, Britain, the European Patent Office, etc. In addition, a favorable International Preliminary Examination Report under the PCT is accepted as equivalent to an allowed application.
The Israeli Patent Office does not publish applications at 18 months. After examination, allowed patent applications are published in the patent journal, and a three-month opposition period commences. Following this period, if no opposition was filed, or if an opposition was subsequently rejected, a patent will be granted.
Patents are granted for a term of twenty years from application date. Maintenance fees are payable at the end of the 6th, 10th, 14th and 18th year from application date; alternatively a single maintenance fee may be paid after allowance for the entire lifetime of the patent.
The above represents a general outline of the patent process only and does not constitute legal advice. Although we believe that the information presented in our site is correct at the time of updating, we are not responsible for any consequences whatsoever arising from use of the information by others.