Dr Francis Gurry, the head of WIPO, came to Israel to receive the accession papers for Israel to join the Madrid Protocol. He addressed the profession in a joint event held at the Dan Hotel, Tel Aviv, and co-hosted by the AIPPI, the AIPA and LES, that was attended by some 60-70 practitioners.
The attendance was a little disappointing but it will be noted that there is a large overlap between the organizations and a lot of practitioners, like myself, are still jet-lagged from INTA – and some are still in the States.
Dr Gurry was supposed to speak about patent agent privilege and the importance of having international standards. He dealt with this quite quickly and explained why Israel would need both developed and developing world countries to support the move for it to have a chance of being adopted. He went on to relate to international harmonization, and, in light of the growing number of patents filed in the Far East, to call for International Search Reports to be produced by an international team of examiners.
Regrettably, harmonization of patent practice across the globe still seems to be held up by some 150 or so rogue states that continue to illogically resist to conforming their practice to the generally accepted international norms like first-to-invent, grace periods and the like.
Words of welcome were delivered by Tal Band represented the AIPPI, Michal Hackmey represented the AIPA and Hananel Kvatinsky represented the LES.
Tal Band spoke about Israel joining the OECD and the country’s prominence in creating patents. He suggested that criticism of Israel IP practice (i.e. the US Special 301 report) was more politically motivated than factual and that the correct balance between private interest (patents) and the public interest (generic, non-patented technologies) was jurisdiction specific, and that the Israel balance was reasonable.
The refreshments were excellent, with a milky buffet including vegetables, rolls, crackers and cheeses. We note that a couple of cheeses were mouldy, but that may have been the point. The coffee was good, the wine disappointing, but there was wine – which is one up on the usual standard of these affairs. There were also a range of fresh fruits and some really excellent chocolate brownies.