The Israeli Patent Office (ILPO) serves as a Receiving Office in
the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system. As the Patent Office in
Israel has different working days and holidays than most western
countries, applicants may select the Israeli office based on
"forum shopping" considerations.
As the official working days in Israel are Sunday to Thursday,
as opposed to most western countries' Monday to Friday, the
patent office is not open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays.
In addition, the Patent Office in Israel is in recess during some
Jewish holidays, such as Passover and Suckot, and remains closed
for the public during that time.
In accordance with PCT Rule 80.5, if the expiration of any
period falls on a day in which the Patent Office is closed, the
period is automatically extended. Hence, in Israel, any due date
that falls on a Friday is automatically extended to the Sunday that
follows. Similarly, any due date that falls on a holiday recess is
also extended, and applicants may be sometimes entitled to even an
extra week to file documents and pay fees.
As this is the case, and as the Israeli patent office has
different opening days than most patent offices, applicants may
sometimes elect to file through the Israeli office in order to
benefit from an extension.
Consider the following example: a priority application is filed
in the United States. A PCT application, claiming the benefit of
the U.S. application may be filed, based on the Paris convention
within 12 months. However, if the period falls on a Friday it may
be extended to Sunday if the PCT application is filed using the
ILPO as a RO.
A word of caution is in order. Under PCT Article 8, in the event
that a priority is claimed from one contracting state, the
conditions for, and the effect of, the priority claim in that state
are governed by the national law of that state. As such, extension
of the due date may not have any effect regarding that particular
Returning to the example above, in case that a National Phase
application is to be filed in the United States (e.g., in case the
priority application is a provisional patent application), the
USPTO may reject the priority claim of PCT application as not being
filed timely. In such a case, national phases in any other
contracting state other than the United States may still benefit
from the priority date.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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