In past postings, we discussed bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programs allowing an applicant to fast track an application in one jurisdiction based on a favorable finding of the claims in a corresponding application in another jurisdiction. For many applicants, the PPH is an effective way to reduce examination time and patent fees.
On August 1, 2013, a unilateral PCT-PPH pilot program commenced within the Israel Patent Office (ILPO). Under this program, an applicant can fast track his/her national stage application in Israel based on 1) a positive written opinion from either the International Searching Authority or the International Preliminary Examination Authority, or 2) a favorable International Preliminary Report on Patentability, issued by the ILPO.
Upon closer inspection, this program seems like a no-brainer. Essentially, the Israel Patent Office is allowing easier grant of a patent application based on its own positive findings as to the application’s patentability. We’ll keep an eye on the landscape to see if other patent offices around the world adopt similar unilateral PCT-PPH programs.
Interested in filing your PCT application into Israel? Here are some notable details to remember.
• Israel is a 30-month deadline country with no filing extension available.
• Either English or Hebrew-language applications are acceptable.
• The ILPO charges an excess claim fee of ILS 513 for each claim over 50 (approximately $144 US).
• Sunday is a workday in Israel, but Friday and Saturday are not. A filing deadline falling on a nonworking day is deferred until the next working day. Applicants in the US or other countries that are used to non-working days on Saturday and Sunday must keep this in mind when calculating their filing deadline in Israel.