Patents in Israel

This page has the following sections:

  • Why patent in Israel?
  • Israel Patent Statistics
  • Advantages of filing PCT applications in Israel
  • Common Pitfalls
  • Patentable Subject Matter
  • Filing Requirements
  • Overview of Patent Examination in Israel
  • Duty of Disclosure

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This page is provided for information purposes only. Whilst every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of this page, please contact me with specific questions.

Why patent in Israel?

Israel has preferential trading partner status with both the European Union and with the United States. The country also conducts a large amount of trade with emerging markets such as India and China.

Israel is a major player in many industries including specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and software, with Israeli companies recognized as world leaders, and with many multinational corporations doing a significant amount of their Research & Development in Israel.

Not just relative to the population size and to the GDP, but in absolute terms, there are more start-up companies in Israel than in any other country, except the US. There are more Israeli companies traded on Nasdaq than there are of any other country outside the United States.

Israel Patent Statistics

In 2013, Some 6185 applications were filed in Israel, of which 5,294 were Paris Convention filings or national phase entries of PCT applications.

The relatively high percentages of hi-tech, biotech and pharmaceuticals reflects the strength of Israel’s domestic industries in these fields.

From WIPO, the Israel Patent Authority has the highest ratio of PCT national phase applications to local applications of any jurisdiction in the world.

The Israel Patent Office is one of only ten authorities providing International Search Reports (ISR) and international Preliminary Examination Reports (IPER) for the PCT.

Advantages of filing PCT applications in Israel

  1. Applications may be filed in English – avoiding translation fees
  2. The filing fee of NIS 2037 (about $580 US) is low
  3. Both single and multiple dependent claims allowable
  4. Excess claim fees only incurred for applications with more than 50 claims
  5. Up to two independent claims for an aspect of the invention are allowed.
  6. No pre-allowance maintenance fees
  7. No fee for requesting examination
  8. It is generally possible to avoid cost and time of substantive examination by conforming the claims to those issued in a corresponding patent granted by any of several examining patent offices

Common Pitfalls

  1. No grace period. Applicant’s own disclosures that predate the priority date may be cited against application
  2. 30 months. PCT national phase entries into Israel must be filed within 30 months of priority. Missed deadline very difficult to extend, as standard is “Due Care” of both applicant and attorneys.

Patentable Subject Matter

Systems and methods that are novel, inventive and useful, and have a technology character may be patented.

  1. Gene sequences per se apparently allowed
  2. Software inventions may be allowed. The rules are complicated, and beyond the scope of this discussion.
  3. Business methods not allowed
  4. Methods of therapeutic treatment not allowed

Filing Requirements

The following are prerequisites for obtaining a filing date and number for a new application filed in Israel

  1. The specification
  2. A filing fee
  3. Name of applicant
  4. An address of service in Israel

Additional requirements include:

  1. Power of Attorney
  2. A hard copy of specification, including figures and claims, in an official language; English, Hebrew or Arabic
  3. A DVD including the specification, figures and claims as PDFs
  4. Copy of priority application
  5. A certified translation of the priority application
  6. A claim for priority

These additional requirements may be submitted up to 3 months from filing (extendable with a fee).

The power of attorney does not require legalization.

Overview of Patent Examination in Israel

  1. Applications are examined in turn, by the respective examination group.
  2. No Request for Examination is required.
  3. Using the Patent Prosecution Highway(PPH) or substantive grounds for acceleration, it may be possible to fast-track the examination of the application.
  4. Examination commences with the issuance of a Notice Prior to Examination requesting details of prior art, first publication of a corresponding application, and offering the applicant an opportunity to review the specification.
  5. Generally four months from the date of an office action. Up to 15 months of extensions may be taken during prosecution.
  6. Prior to examination commencing, a suspension of one or two years may be taken to allow other family members to issue.
  7. Divisional applications may be filed up to the publication date of the first mentioned application or parent application.
  8. In Israel, a divisional application of a divisional cannot be filed.
  9. Barring statutory subject matter objections, claim sets allowed by a number of patent authorities having substantive examination may be allowed in Israel under Section 17c of the Law.
  10. Prior to allowance, there is a great deal of flexibility, and new material may be added, but will be post-dated to the date of submission.
  11. After the grant of the patent, claims may be narrowed and typographical errors may be corrected.
  12. On allowance, an Israel Application publishes for opposition purposes for three months prior to allowance. During this time, anyone may file an opposition based on lack of novelty, lack of inventive step or that the opposer is the true inventor.

Duty of Disclosure

Israel has a duty of disclosure of relevant prior art.

  1. A list of citations against corresponding applications should be filed in response to the Notice Prior to Examination, and additional citations should be filed in a timely manner. This is generally understood to mean within three months of coming to applicant’s attention, or when responding to office actions.
  2. Full copies of X and Y citations in an ISR and citations against novelty / inventive step should be submitted in electronic format.
  3. The duty of disclosure of prior art is ongoing until publication of the application for opposition purposes after allowance.

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