The PCT Technical Council in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) reappointed the Israel Patent Office ("ILPO") as an International Searching and Examining Authority ("ISEA"). The ILPO is one of twenty two patent offices serving in this capacity. The reappointment is valid for an additional period of 10 years and shows the international recognition of the quality of the search and examination conducted by the ILPO. It is noteworthy that in 2016 the ILPO was ranked again as No. 1 among ISEAs in meeting PCT timelines.
Majority of Israeli applicants, about two thirds, currently elect the ILPO as the ISEA for their PCT applications. Moreover, since October 2014, the ILPO has rendered searching and examining services also to US applicants and there is a steadily growing number of examinations conducted by the ILPO on behalf of US applicants (limited by Decision to only 100 applications per quarter, a quota that is fully exhausted. This agreement was reported already in a newsletter of October 20, 2014.
In 2016 the ILPO was again ranked as No. 1 among ISEAs in meeting PCT timelines and also continues to be highly regarded for the quality of the search and examination conducted by it.
It is noteworthy that the ILPO's guidelines provide for accelerated examination of priority applications filed at the ILPO. This was already dealt with in our newsletter of February 17, 2013.The ILPO pledges to issue an examination report within 6 months following an accelerated examination request, although in practice the timelines are usually much faster. The high quality examination offered by the ILPO provides the applicant with a valuable opinion on patentability which may be used as a basis for decision whether to proceed internationally and/or whether and how to revise the application before filing priority-based applications. This quality service provided by the ILPO may be a good reason for foreign applicants (and many already do) to choose the ILPO as the office for filing the priority application.