The oldest excuse in the book: Lost in the post.

mail_carrier_2It is one of the oldest excuses in the book for missed deadlines, and late payment: Lost in the post.

Of course it happens. The mail carriers transport and deliver millions of letters and packages so it is a believable excuse.

The Israel Patent Office sends communications to the wrong address. I forwarded a Renewal of a Patent to Harvard that was sent to me instead of to the attorney who handles Harvard. An inventor who is prosecuting an applicant by himself, but consulting with me on the side showed me an office action last week that was sent to Teffen instead of to him.

Most of the time, practitioners send the letter on to the correct response. Nevertheless, it is possible that some piece of communication from the Israel Patent Office doesn’t reach the applicant and applications go abandoned, and issued patents lapse. the Israeli patent office generally allows these to be resuscitated within a year of them going belly up, but not always.

IL 1777044 was filed by Avi Marco, giving his address as Ganei Yochanan 103. He failed to respond to the Notice Prior to Examination and to the Notice of Imminent Abandonment and closure of the file.

Some 18 months later he wished to revive the application and claimed that he never received the patent office communications due to postal discrepacies.

The Commissioner of Patents gave him the opportunity to provide evidence of such discrepacies, and received a laconic statement from the secretariat of the village to the affect that sometimes letters get misposted in the wrong box, and sometimes something arrives that is unclearly labeled and is sent back. The commissioner felt that there were insignificant grounds to revive the c


With Courtesy to the Wombats:

I could see your interest wane, my dear

She wanted Mary Poppins and I took her to King Lear

Yeah, we’ve had some spills, shall I say?

And I thought you gonna leave but not that you’d evaporate

She was signed, sealed and lost in the post

Gone where all the letters we write to Santa go


I’ve actually used the lost in post excuse to have a lapsed patent revived and have used the postal strike excuse to conduct a PCT late entry, despite the Paris Deadline having passed. In both cases, the time delays were short (weeks rather than years).

With the lapsed patent, I could provide independent evidence that the lapsed patent was the result of the IPO sending letters to the wrong address.  With the late PCT patent filing I provided evidence that the local post office was closed and a plausible account as to why I was unaware of this until after the damage was done.

It seems that this explanation requires plausibility, hard evidence and reasonable time frames.

re Santa’s Post, I suspect it arrives in Jerusalem with all the letters for God, and gets delivered to the Wailing Wall, but maybe it ends up elsewhere.

Categories: Uncategorized

1 reply

  1. If I may a few words?

    I am surprised anything is being sent still by post, in Israel. I presently live in a country where everything is being sent by email or otherwise electronic means.

    Sorry to disclose, but I happened, at some time, to work in Post Office in Israel, and it came to my knowledge that certain post transfers were being lost by the Post Office workers on purpose. Like, e.g., being paid by a certain political party not to deliver the booklets and other post matter by rivalry parties. Therefore, Post Office deliveries can be easily lost.

    The best way would be to send by the Post, and the corroboration of this being sent by email. With the highest probability, both would never fail.

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