Scouring pads considered non-inventive and application considered abandoned

Israel Patent Application Number IL 110548 claims a cloth covered foam scouring pad with one side more abrasive than the other, and the abrasive side having two sections of different roughness. The application was allowed, but the publication fee wasn’t paid on time.

A couple of years later, claiming a breakdown in communication with their attorney due to a fire, the application was revived and published for opposition. 

Huglah Kimberly, who manufacture such scouring pads under the name Sushi pads, opposed the patent, claiming wrongful revival and lack of novelty / inventive step.

The applicant, Samuel Sadomsky waived attorney – client privelege and it turned out that the attorney of record, Amir Friedman, was requested not to pay the publication fee. On further inspection, it turned out that that fire happened after the granted patent application was abandoned. Attempts to claim that subordinates were acting without authority and that the abandonment occurred due to a change of premises were considered not sufficiently persuasive. Though justifying his earlier decision that in exceptional circumstances an application could be revived after a couple of years, in this case, the evidence made such a claim untenable.

Having ruled that the patent was abandoned intentionally and could not be revived, the issue of novelty and inventive step was moot. Neverthless, the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Dr Noam ruled that US 4,354,530, US 4,581,287 and US 4,966,609 rendered the claimed invention non-patentable. 

Costs of NIS 25,000 were awarded to the opponent.

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