After an initial classification on filing, to assign to a particular technology group, the Israel Patent Office examines applications in each group in turn. Unlike some other jurisdictions, there is no need to request examination.
It has always been possible to jump the queue by requesting accelerated examination and submitting an affidavit testifying to due cause. Typical reasons for requesting accelerated examination include competitors already using the technology.
In a Notice published on 28 November 2010 it has been announced that as of 1 January 2010, the applicants of patent applications first filed in Israel can request accelerated examination based on an intention to file abroad under the Paris Convention. A search report will issue within 3 months.
This means that first filers in Israel can get a search report very quickly and use it as a basis for deciding whether or not to file abroad. Furthermore, on the basis thereof, the applicants can make amendments to the specification and / or claims before filing abroad. Finally, since Israel is to become an International Search Authority, the applicants of a PCT application claiming priority from the Israel application can request that the International Search Report and Written Opinion take the Israel Search findings into account.
Israel examiners have access to the same search engines that their counterparts at the EPO use. Furthermore, Israel examiners tend to have additional languages in addition to Hebrew and English, particularly other European languages, so the quality of the search is likely to be high.
This, coupled with the relatively low cost of filing in Israel, the fact that the application may be filed in English, and that currently there is no automatic publication, means that first filing in Israel makes strategic sense.