The first renewal of Israel Patent Number 178735 was paid on-line and the agent of the patentee faxed the proof of payment to the Israel Patent Office. He then phoned through to check that the proof of payment had arrived. On looking to pay the second renewal four years later, the agent of the patentee discovered that the patent had lapsed. Instead of taking action to reinstate, the agent of record asked to correct the register.
Ms Bracha, noting that the mistake was one of the Israel Patent Office, agreed to correct that record. She is leaving the issue of rights of third parties using the lapsed patent in good faith for the issue to become a practical one with such a third party coming forwards.
This decision is a correct one. It is somewhat of a precedent as well.
In previous cases where the fee was timely paid on line using the Patent Office website, but the patentee did not separately send the proof of payment, the Patent Office ruled that the case should publish for opposition purposes.
I had a case recently where I could prove that the proof of payment had been received since we renewed two applications at the same time and the other case was clearly filed in timely manner, but the receipts of payment was printed out together on the same piece of paper. That paper clearly reached the Patent Office as the second case was renewed. The proof of payment contained all the relevant details, including the file number, fee, description of what the fee was for and when the fee was paid. I was more interested in getting the case restored than in fighting so I paid the fees for restoration with a note that I would request a refund. The case was restored, and I requested the refund, but so far, no response.
The Patent Office has been threatening to become fully on line. We hope that soon, as with the USPTO and other patent offices, it will be possible to pay the fee and no further action will be necessary.