Israel Patent Office 2017 Annual report – More Israeli Women Inventors; Shorter Examination Times
The Israeli Patent Office (IPO) recently published its 2017 annual report, which reflects the state of intellectual property prosecution in Israel regarding the submission and examination of patent, trademark and design applications. The report reveals interesting trends and changes in the intellectual property registration system in Israel.
According to the report, in 2017 there was an increase in PCT and patent applications filed by foreign entities in Israel. This is consistent with the fact that more and more multinational companies are moving their R&D centers to Israel. Today, the number of multinational corporation R&D centers in Israel is among the world’s highest, and is the highest in the world per capita. Furthermore, the report shows a steady increase in the number of patent applications in the life sciences field, due to a dramatic increase in the number of applications in medical devices. Another interesting finding in the 2017 report is the fact that according to WIPO, there was an increase in the number of women inventors in Israeli PCT applications. It appears that the IPO’s Patents department is demonstrating a continuing increase in efficiency, following recent optimization processes, including training of more examiners in effort to reduce examination time.
The IPO’s greatest accomplishment is undoubtedly the significant decrease in trademark examination periods. According to the report, in the beginning of 2017, an application was examined about 16 months after submission. By the end of the year, the waiting time was approximately 12 months. The increase in output was made possible by training more examiners and by changing the work procedures and operating system of the trademark department. The report also showed a steady increase in the number of non-Israeli trademark applicants, in light of the increase in the number of international companies and brands operating in Israel.
2017 was a particularly fruitful year in the field of designs, after the new law came into effect (Designs Law, 2017), replacing the 90 year old Patents and Designs Ordinance of 1924, and after the implementation of a new system for filing design applications and for searching existing design registrations. Although there have been no significant changes in the number of submissions of designs from past years, there was a considerable increase in submissions made in class 14 (recording, communication or information retrieval equipment), pursuant to the growing mobile market in Israel.