“Before then, any man might instantly use what another had invented; so that the inventor had no special advantage from his own invention. The patent system changed this; secured to the inventor, for a limited time, the exclusive use of his invention; and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things.”
To obtain a patent, the invention must possess industrial applicability; it must be novel and involve an inventive step with respect to what is known in the state of the art prior to the effective filing date of the application. The application must set forth sufficient detail such that a person of ordinary skill in the art is capable of carrying out the invention based on the disclosure. The application document must end with a set of claims that define the invention, and which are reasonably derived from the description provided in the Specification.
Patent applications are filed in the English language in Israel, and only the name of the invention must be translated into Hebrew. A patent application can also be filed in Israel within one year of the filing of a patent application for the same invention in another country, claiming the priority date from the date of filing of the foreign application.
The Israel Patent Office has moved to an online filing system and providing greater transparency during patent application prosecution. The contents of the application, unless same have been classified, are published roughly 18 months after the effective filing date, and the full prosecution history is provided online as well. Following issuance of a notice of acceptance and payment of the grant fees, the intent to grant the application is published as part of the Patent Journal.
Following publication of the intent to grant the application, if within three months of the publication date, no Opposition by a third party is filed, then the application is granted as a patent.
A patent in Israel is granted for a period of 20 years from its date of filing and is kept in force provided that periodic renewal fees are timely paid.
Under Israeli Patent Law, a Patent cannot be granted for therapeutic methods of treatment of the human body although compounds for use for treating disease or for use as a medication constitute patentable subject matter. A patent cannot be granted for a new variety of plant or animal, unless the organism is not derived from nature (i.e. it is an engineered strain).
In addition, Patents in Israel cannot be granted on inventions strictly relating to computer software. Hybrid definitions of an invention that define novel and inventive interactions between hardware and software should be acceptable.
The Applicant has a duty to disclose publications cited against any counterpart application filed in another jurisdiction, and which were relied upon during examination thereof, or any publications of which the Applicant is aware, which are relevant to the invention for which a patent is being sought, and the Israel Patent Office now requires that digital copies of references cited as being relevant to the novelty or inventive step of the invention be provided to the Examiner, including X and Y reference citations in International Search Reports, and the like. Applicants may benefit from an expedited examination procedure in Israel, under the provisions of Section 17(c) of the Israel Patents Law. To qualify for allowance under 17(c), a corresponding patent must be allowed or granted in one of the following countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Russian Federation, Japan, U.S.A., Germany, Denmark, U.K., EPO, Norway or Sweden. The claims of the subject application must be identical to those of the corresponding patent and the subject application, or amended only to comply with the statutory format required in accordance with Israeli Patent Law and the claims of the Israeli application must be supported by the same priority application(s) as were claimed for the counterpart patent. Any challenge to the counterpart patent on which allowance of the Israeli application is based, however, prior to grant in Israel, must be promptly reported to the Patent Office.
A patent application which qualifies for expedited examination is considered to fulfill the novelty, and inventiveness requirements; to possess unity of invention, sufficiency of disclosure and to have claims which reasonably arise out of the description in the specification.