WIth little fanfare, the Israel Patent Office (or Agency as it prefers to be called), has made available their published patent records in a searchable manner.
The database is accessible via the following link:
The system is far from perfect, and for some reason the site claims that only abstracts of patents from 1970 to 2000 are available. We have only experimented a little, but have managed to access earlier and later records, and obtained full copies of patents from that 30 year period, so believe that this claim or perhaps disclaimer, indicates that not all issued patents are available in their entirety.
Israel is somewhat unique, in that until allowance, only minimal biographical data was available. There is no 18 month publication as available from most industrialized nations, essentially having a submarine patenting system similar to that existing in the US prior to 1996. This may change as well; in 2007 there was a first reading of an Amendment to the Israel patent Law to allow automatic publication. To pass, the law will require three readings and updating accessibility to filed patent applications in Israel is not a priority of the Knesset. That said, the launch of this search facility indicates that technologically, The Israel Patent Office is ready to provide the goods.
In this regard, it will be noted that last year, amid much fanfare, Israel amended its trademark laws and acceded to the Madrid Protocol. However, due to problems in searching and classifying graphic elements of trademarks, the Madrid Protocol still has not been implemented. I was privileged to test drive the prototype trademark search engine in the summer of 2007. That system had its glitches but was surprisingly robust and well designed. It is hoped that the new patent searching facility indicates that the trademark interface will also be up and running shortlyand Israel will then implement Madrid as well.