Concerning Design Application Nos. 45247 and-45248, Safety Kleen Systems and their IP representative argued that they never received the office actions, nor the notice of abandonment, but only later discovered that the Application had gone astray when they requested that the Patent Office send copies of the most recent correspondence in the file by email.
The agent for the applicant claimed that an Office Action was not received and the Patent Office should have sent the notice by registered mail.
Ms Jaqueline Bracha, the Adjudicator at the Israel Patent Agency rejected this argument, pointing out that the relevant regulations allowed sending by mail, and that this was routinely done. She went on to rule that the corresponding civil court procedures were considered irrelevant where there were specific design regulations. Since the public could rely on the design register, it would be wrong to allow abandoned design applications to be resurrected.
This seems a little unfair as the Israel Patent Agency does send correspondence to the wrong address from time to time. I have certainly received correspondence addressed to other patent offices, but put in the wrong envelope, but then again the excuse of lost in the post is the oldest one in the book. In the specific case, there should have been two Office Actions and two Notices of Abandonment and the time lapse from filing until the issue of Examination was raised was a few years. In these circumstances, the decision not to reopen the case seems more reasonable.