Israeli Patent Office – a New PCT Searching Authority
On June 1, 2012 the Israeli Patent Office (IPO) will start acting as an International Preliminary Search and Examining Authority (IPEA) for international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
To date there are 14 recognized International Searching and Preliminary Examination Authorities, of which Israeli applicants can use only the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO).
By becoming an IPEA, the IPO will provide a new option to Israeli applicants. Moreover, the new designation enters the IPO to the distinguished list of leading countries in the field of intellectual property. This appointment also reflects the acknowledgement of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in the technological capabilities of Israel.
Initially, the IPO will provide the new service only to Israeli applicants, but this service will be available later to applicants from other countries.
The IPO offers attractive search and examination fees, currently standing on $940 which is less than a half of the corresponding fees charged by the USPTO or the EPO. The competitive fees provide a clear advantage to Israeli applicants.
In the past three years the Israeli Patent Office was occupied with extensive preparations required to start the search and examination operation. The preparation included increasing the number of Examiners, as required by the PCT regulations and organizing training programs for the Patent Examiners. Our office was given the honor to provide a training seminar at the IPO in the field of Biotechnology and Intellectual Property in view of worldwide legislation and important case laws.