While being a relatively-small country, Israel produces a significant amount of innovation, ranking in the top tier of most technology-related benchmarks. For example, Israel has the highest number of university degrees per capita worldwide, and has the most scientists and technicians per capita in the world. Over 25 percent of the Israeli workforce is employed in technical professions. Furthermore, Israel has ranked first for business expenditure on R&D, second for venture-capital availability, and third in the world in per capita patents.
Due to such a high rate of innovation, a patent prosecution firm in Israel, with its exposure to such rapid development, is often more equipped than many foreign colleagues for handling global IP strategy & management and patent filings in jurisdictions such as the US, EU, JP, and others, let alone obtaining a patent in Israel. In addition to having offices located in both Israel and the US, FlashPoint IP has the unique advantage of providing IP services through its staff who are licensed to directly practice both in the US and Israel, and directly file before the EPO in Europe as well.
Known as the “start-up nation,” Israel has been able to make major contributions to society in a vast array of technologies including: agriculture, solar power, water technologies, pharmaceuticals, biotech, medical devices, Internet, software, microchips, and telecom, just to name a few.
Learn how our patent prosecution firm uses expedited examination of a patent in Israel as an efficient and effective entry point for fast-tracking global patent prosecution.
Like many evolving patent regimes, the Israel Patent Office (ILPO, sometimes referred to as the Israel Patent Authority (IPA)) has largely amalgamated its code of law from the tenets of the major established patent systems (such as the EPO and USPTO) for obtaining a patent in Israel, while also incorporating unique doctrines that differ from other patent regimes (such as with their splitting of medical treatments and diagnostics as patentable subject matter). An IL patent application can be submitted in English, Hebrew, or Arabic, with the vast majority being submitted in English for practical reasons of a single patent-drafting process serving as the basis for multiple jurisdictions.
The body of Israeli rules and laws with regard to patents enables inventors to secure patent protection in Israel, and to use such applications as the basis for filing priority-based patent applications under the guidelines of the Paris Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) as part of an overarching IP strategy. Among other aspects, the ILPO includes an opposition procedure in its patent-prosecution process which is akin to the process in the EPO. As of June 2012, the ILPO also serves as an International Search Authority (ISA) for the examination of PCT applications.
While a provisional patent application for a patent affords the inventor/entrepreneur certain advantages such as reduced upfront filing costs, as well as time to perfect an invention and seek investors during the priority year, the provisional filing process also has an inherent disadvantage that can be significant to some in that it can extend the time it will take to acquire enforceable intellectual-property rights – an important factor to weigh in an IP strategy & management framework for a rapidly-changing technology area.
Two of the ILPO’s procedural guidelines are worth highlighting here when selecting a first-filing, patent prosecution firm, and for considering the value of obtaining a patent in Israel. The first ILPO guideline relates to accelerated examination for a patent in Israel. In recent years, the ILPO has streamlined its accelerated-examination protocol, creating a “fast-track” examination process for a nominal fee without the necessity to provide justification for acceleration. This can be of great benefit to entrepreneurs with impending product launches who want to secure patent protection as quickly as possible so that their inventions are protected when they enter the market. This can be especially advantageous in technical areas in which the invention can be easily appropriated, such as simple mechanical gadgets.
In addition, the ILPO has entered bilateral treaties with several national patent offices regarding the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program for accelerated examination through global work sharing. Most notably, the ILPO has PPH initiatives with the USPTO, EPO, JPO, DKPTO, NBPR, CIPO, KIPO, SIPO, and SPTO/OEPM, among others, allowing for search results and opinions of IL patent applications to serve as the basis for parallel prosecution in other jurisdictions in which action has not been taken on the case.
Combined with the ILPO’s accelerated-examination protocol described above, the new PPH routes enable prosecution time to allowance to be drastically reduced for a global patent family at a moderate additional cost. With the introduction of PCT-PPH expanding PPH to PCT applications, and PPH 2.0 (also referred to as PPH MOTTAINAI) allowing for a more flexible “two-way valve” framework for PPH guidelines on the criteria of Office of First and Second Filing (OFF and OSF), the options for implementing a desired IP strategy & management approach within a limited time window are significantly greater. The Global PPH and IP5 PPH programs have streamlined the process even further for large patent families.
The second ILPO guideline relates to inventions that have received a patent allowance or grant in another jurisdiction. Israeli patent law stipulates under Section 17(c) that an Examiner can rely on the parallel prosecution of a patent in other countries, particularly in: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, the European Patent Office, Germany, Japan, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States for granting a patent in Israel. This means that, in prosecuting an Israeli patent application, if one receives an allowance or grant in any of the jurisdictions mentioned above, one need only meet certain formalities to receive a patent grant before the ILPO, circumventing a costly and time-consuming de novo prosecution process.
FlashPoint IP, a leading patent prosecution firm, factors these wide-ranging aspects into the process of securing patent protection, whether in performing a patent search and patent analysis of the prior art, engaging in patent drafting of applications, selecting how and where to file a patent application, or prosecuting your claims to an invention to help you maximize value in an extensive array of practice areas. Our patent attorneys are adept at synthesizing the many facets needed to create a winning formula for your IP.
FPIP specializes in obtaining a patent in Israel, US, and EU jurisdictions – filing patent applications on behalf of its clients directly before the USPTO, EPO, WIPO, and ILPO, and worldwide via our network of professional associates. Contact us to discuss your options regarding IP strategy & management, and how best to secure your rights.