Under Israeli law the Israel Patent Office is authorized to skip
substantial examination based on a successful result in a
corresponding competent patent office. Such examination is often
referred to as "modified examination".
Section 17(C) provides that in case that a counterpart patent
application was allowed having identical set of claims to the
pending claims in the Israeli patent application, the patent
application would be considered as meeting the requirements under
the Patent Act of novelty, inventive step (i.e., nonobviousness),
unity of invention, definiteness of the claims and enablement.
In other words, once a counterpart patent application is allowed
in another office, a patent may be issued in Israeli with little or
no substantive examination whatsoever.
Notwithstanding Section 17(C), the patent office might decide to
perform substantive examination of aforementioned requirements
nonetheless. However, this is rarely the case. Other requirements,
and specifically those of patentable subject matter, may still be
Section 17(C) is limited to counterpart applications in a closed
list of countries. Currently, the list includes: Austria,
Australia, The United States (US), Germany, Denmark, The United
Kingdom (UK), The Russian Federation, Japan, The European Patent
Office (EPO), Norway, Canada and Sweden.
While Section 17(C) is limited to a shared priority claim
between the Israeli patent application and the counterpart
application (i.e., one claims the benefit of the other, or both
claim the benefit of a shared priority application), the rule was
expanded in Patent Authority Circular M.N. 70 to national phases of
PCT applications, even in case that there is no priority claim.
The bottom line is that procuring patent rights in Israel may be
easier and much cheaper than you would think. If you invest your
resources in obtaining patent protection in another country, you
may be entitled to patent protection in Israel with little or no
substantive examination. This, in addition to the low official
fees, the Israeli early adapters and developed high-tech market,
makes Israel an attractive destination for patent registration.
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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