Sanplast LTD. is an Israeli manufacturer of plastic goods. Back on 13 June 2004 they submitted a request to register a design No. 39381 with the Israel Patent Office.
In March 2005 there was a first Office Action to provide additional Figures showing further views and in April 2006, as no response had been submitted, and 12 months had passed since the design application was filed, the patent office sent applicant a notice regarding imminent closure of the file. In lieu of a response being filed, the file was closed in July 2006.
Two years later, in 2008, the CEO tried to revive the file and the head of the design registration department ruled that there were no grounds to do so.
A further attempt to open the file was submitted by ex Commissioner Moshe Goldberg, who claimed that the file was closed after successful examination back in 2006, and with the only thing missing being the publication fee.
On examination of the file, the Arbitrator of Intellectual Property Ms Yaara Shoshani Caspi ruled that the grounds submitted were in contradistinction to the contents of the file-wrapper and that the facts did not support the request for reinstatement. Since (i) she could find no evidence of the patent office making a mistake or acting improperly, (ii) the correspondence reached the applicant in good time, and (iii) third parties’ rights would be potentially compromised, she rightly refused to allow the case to be reopened and the design registered.
Design rulings are sufficiently rare that any of them are newsworthy. Since the design never issued, we cannot tell what plastic item is under discussion – which could be the most interesting thing about the case. One point of note is that Adv. Goldberg either didn’t check the facts out and/or was misled by client. In such cases, as apparently the patent office does review the files and checks out allegations, it seems worth getting a POA and inspecting the file before submitting requests for revival / reinstatement.