In an appeal to restore lapsed patent number 177522 to Yad Conena LTD., the director Shmuel Savyon claimed that the patent had lapsed due to lack of financial resources. this wasn’t the first time that the patent had lapsed, but on a previous occasion, it was restored after then Deputy Commissioner Noah Shalev Smylovich was convinced that the patent had become abandoned unintentionally.
Section 60 of the Israel Patent Law allows a lapsed patent to be reinstated if the patent lapsed in reasonable circumstances against the patentee’s wishes, and if, on learning that it had become abandoned, the patentee takes immediate steps to rectify the situation.
Deputy Commissioner Jacqueline Bracha considered that in this case, the patentee was aware that the patent had lapsed and had made a conscious decision to allow the asset to lapse due to lack of funds. The patentee didn’t suddenly learn that the patent had lapsed, but rather was aware of the situation. When circumstances changed, he tried to revive the case. This is beyond the scope of Section 60.
I think the Deputy Commissioner is correct in her interpretation of the Law. However, I note that other jurisdictions are more flexible, and though expensive, it is sometimes possible to revive abandoned patents under such circumstances elsewhere. Thankfully most of my clients are in good financial shape, but I have a couple of cases in Europe and the US where the applicants have ran out of funds but the situation has improved. In general, I do whatever I can to help such clients, but only after receipt of anticipated costs up front.