Reviving Lapsed Israel Patents – Human Error Preferable to Financial Problems

meter lapsed

Eli Tiar allowed his patent number 148847 titled “EARTH SCREW ANCHOR ASSEMBLY” to go abandoned. The patent was filed in March 2002, and granted in February 2011. The first and second renewals, for years 1-6 and 7-10 were timely paid, but the third renewal, due March 2012, was not paid, due to lack of funds and commercial interest.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jaqueline Bracha, did not consider this excuse as a legitimate reason to allow the abandoned patent to publish for reinstatement, since the law requires the patentee to take immediate steps on becoming aware that the patent lapsed. In this case, the patentee was aware that the patent would and then had lapsed, but made a financial decision to allow this to happen. This cannot be considered unintentional. The request to revive was therefore rejected.

On the other hand, Israel Patent 151594 to Biomar Israel LTD. for a FUNGICIDE COMPOSITION CONTAINING TEA TREE OIL was supposed to be renewed on 4 September 2012, and lapsed six months later on 4 May 2013, after the grace period passed. However, as evidenced by an affidavit, the agent responsible for maintenance was changed, from Dr Eyal Bressler to Daniel Faigelson, and a human error was made in entering the renewal data.  The applicant never intended the application to lapse, and so Ms Jaqueline Bracha ordered that its reinstatement was allowed to publish for opposition purposes.

Israel patent number 161941 titled SHELF-STABLE VEGETABLE COMPOSITION AND METHOD OF MAKING to the Societe des Produits Nestle SA lapsed since the patentee misinformed a renewal service, informing them that the next renewal was due in 2012, but in fact it was due in 2008. The mistake was spotted in 2013,  and the company took immediate action to rectify the situation. Ms Jaqueline Bracha ordered that its reinstatement was allowed to publish for opposition purposes. She also has set up an inquiry to determine why a notice of the patent becoming abandoned wasn’t sent out earlier, although notes that this service is not obligatory on the patent office, and cannot, itself be blamed for patents lapsing.

Israel Patent Number 158611 to IBM titledMETHOD FOR INTEROPERATION BETWEEN LEGACY SOFTWARE AND SCREEN READER PROGRAMS” lapsed as from 11 March 2012, due to non-payment of the third renewal, due with extension period by 11 September 2012. IBM’s attorneys did not provide a sufficiently detailed affidavit explaining the reason for the patent lapsing and were given an opportunity to rectify this. It turns out that the renewal company they use gave insufficient information to their local agents who handle the renewals in Israel. This was considered adequate to allow a  notice of reinstatement to publish.

The relevant law is sections 57 and 60 of the Israel Patent Law.

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