In 2018 some 1686 design applications were filed in Israel. This is below the peak of 1866 in 2016, but is higher than any other of the past 5 years.
With the changes in place relating to the adoption of the new Design Law and preparations for Hague, it took on average 5 1/2 months for designs to come up for examination. From the issuance of the first Office Action, the Applicant has 12 months to overcome all objections or the design application is considered abandoned.
The Israel Patent Office considers that delays in examination have a direct, measurable negative result on the number of cases filed. It is doing its best to shorten pendencies. There is certainly a correlation, but I am less than convinced that a month or two one way of the other is significant.
Icons for mobile phones and the like can now be registered as designs, leading to a spike in class 14 registrations.
Whilst over three fifths (62%) of design applications filed in Israel come from local clients. 12% from France, 9% from US, 4% from the UK and 3% from Italy. Perhaps surprisingly, 1% of all designs filed in Israel come from Brazil. This can be attributed to Stern Jewelry.
The Israel Patent Office expects that Israel’s recent joining of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs will result in more applications coming from abroad. At present, there are about 30 countries that are ahead of Israel in incoming foreign applications. This may be attributed to the relatively small local population and the cost of manufacturing in Israel.
Back in 2014, three quarters of all allowed applications took 2 rounds of examination before allowance. This has dropped to under two thirds. The Trademark Office attributes the smoother prosecution to greater transparency of the examination process. However, there are still an significant number of applications – about 25% – that are not successfully registered.
The locally originating design applications are overwhelmingly for aluminium profiles and building blocks. Both foreign and local companies file designs for lighting fixtures. Foreign companies are registering designs for car parts, furniture, jewelry, containers, tools, medical devices, cosmetics and vaping equipment.
Iconic Israel designs include the Uzi submachine gun and the Mifold booster seat.