New Israel Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Appointed

March 19, 2017

Ofir AlonThe Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaqued has appointed Attorney and Patent Attorney Ofir Alon as the new Israel Commissioner of Patents, Trademarks and Designs to replace Commssioner Asa Kling who is coming to the end of his six year tenure.

Ofer Alon has degrees in Computer Science and Law from Haifa University. He qualified in IP Law in the Law Offices of Richard Luthi where he worked until 2006 and then became the IP Director and In-House Counsel of “On Track innovations”. Since 2010, Adv Alon has served as the head of Intellectual Property for the Technion’s R&D Tech Transfer Company.

The appointment follows the advice of the Committee for Finding a Suitable Candidate that was headed by Ms Ami Palmor, Director of the Ministry of Justice. Other committee members include Ilan Ram the Director of the Senior Civil Servants Organization, the Chief Scientist Avi Hasson, Professor Orit Fishman Afori – Dean of the Law School of Michlelet Minhal and Academic Representative and Retired Justice Izaak Engelhard serving as the public representative (which seems innappropriate to me – judges can represent the judiciary. The public is best represented by the layman. Maybe in this instance, a local serial inventor?).

According to the press-release, the committee were impressed with his developed views and vision regarding the Patent Office, its activities and its challenges, and with his plans for its international activities.

Comment

We note that with the appointment of Outgoing Commissioner Asa Kling the make up of the committee remained confidential. This led to rumours of cronyism between the judge allegedly chairing the committee and Judge Kling, the commissioner’s father. I cannot comment on whether these rulings were well-founded or baseless, but was very impressed with the outgoing commissioner’s rulings.

In this instance, the identity of the committee members has been published. We see this as a welcome step towards greater transparency. We are pleased that the committee were impressed with Adv Alon’s plans, however the press-releases do not explain what these plans are. We also do not know whether any other candidates were considered and if so, who the other candidates were. What was clear was that the published advertisements in the newspapers gave very short deadlines from responding, raising suspicions that this was a political appointment. A candidate with vision and proven management skills seems a very good idea. He will however also require judicial competence.

Mover-and-Shaker Kim Lindy claims to have helped Ofir Alon receive his appointment to the Technion Tech Transfer Company. However, she denies having influenced his appointment as commissioner.

In general, I am impressed with Minister Shaqued’s judicial appointments and her attempts to broaden the Supreme Bench to be more representative and heterogeneous. I also think the Commissioner should be more or less formalistic in his approach to IP rulings. That said, I have no ideas what Ofir Alon’s views are regarding IP issues or indeed, on other legal or political issues.

under the watch of the last two commissioners the Israel Patent Office has been revolutionized, and it is now fully computerized. There is pending legislation concerning designs, and proposed legislation to put the profession of patent attorneys onto a stronger legal footing. The patent office is now a profit generating, efficient and professional body. We wish the new commissioner luck and hope he takes the organization forwards to new heights.

 


Israel Patent Office to Allow Electronic Filing

November 11, 2015

e-file

On 21 October 2015, the Israel Patent Office published amendments 1 and 2 to the patent regulations for 2015.

The amendments come into effect as of 20 December 2015.

The first amendment regulates:

  • Electronic filing of patent applications, documents and notices and the requirement for applicants to identify themselves
  • Receipt of Office Actions and other documents by email from the Israel Patent Office
  • Intermediate requests in inter-partes actions
  • How documents should be exchanged in inter-partes actions
  • How printed submissions should be made, and that the front-page is no longer required
  • How post-allowance amendments should be made
  • The request for applications to be signed has been cancelled
  • The obligation on Mentor to alert the Patent Office regarding the start of training for trainee patent attorneys and when they have to do this
  • Appeals to the Commissioner regarding non-final rejections
  • Discounts in filing fees for Schools of Higher Education and Tech Transfer Companies

Applicants wishing to file on line have to identify themselves with a smart card, and the way such smart cards may be obtained has been published.

Those wishing to receive Office Actions by email are provided with a link for so-doing.

There is a training day for patent attorneys to learn the new system. This will be held at the Israel Patent Office on 15 December 2015 between 9:30 and 12:00.


Tech Transfer of Tel Aviv University Teams Up with Indian Conglomerate

August 15, 2013

Ramottata

India’s largest industrial conglomerate, the Tata Group, has agreed to invest $5 million in the Momentum Fund launched by Tel Aviv’s Ramot Technology Transfer Company. RAMOT, Both sides have announced that this investment is just the beginning, and that eventually Tata will become the fund’s lead investor and will help select research projects between the fund’s three sectors: engineering, health care and clean tech.

“This is the first investment in Israel by Tata Group,” says Ramot CEO Shlomo Nimrodi, “and I believe the Tatas’ expectations in this relationship are to use this as access to Israel and the amount of innovation that exists here.”

“Since the announcement,” adds Tata Group executive director K.R.S. Jamwal, “we have received calls with requests from Israeli companies for introductions to the Tatas in order to expose their technologies to the group. We expect that this engagement will enhance the capabilities of Tata companies to leverage technology as a differentiator for their businesses.” The international partnership with Ramot is a boon to the Tata Group since India’s innovation ecosystem is relatively lacking, though many of its scientists have gone on to enter the cutting edge of the technology sector in the U.S.

“In addition to their technology leadership and focus on an interdisciplinary approach, we appreciated Ramot’s passion for technology commercialization and desire to partner with the Tata Group,” says Jamwal, adding that the deal is non-exclusive. “If leading U.S. universities provide such opportunities, they will certainly be considered.”

COMMENTS

1. there is a difference between commercializing university research so that academic breakthroughs help mankind, and Universities pimping themselves by doing applied research for industry. Universities receive public funding and sometimes final year students do research projects that has commercial basis but are not paid for so doing. On the other hand, income from collaborations between industry and engineering departments and science labs can subsidize pure research including in the humanities, Jewish History and the like.

One problem arises where publication of breakthroughs is delayed due to patenting considerations.

2. With the EEC threatening to boycott Israel universities engaged in research in what the European Union considers to be Occupied Territories, and that includes archaelogical research in places like Jerusalem, Shilo, Beth El, and the like, I see the possibility of research collaboration with India and China as a viable alternative. I think that Europe has its own issues to deal with, such as Gibraltar, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, the Basque region, Flemish independence, and the like. I don’t think that Palestinian full independence is the biggest problem in the Middle East, and don’t think that Europe has the right to moralize to anyone.