In June 2012, the Israeli Patent Office will begin to function as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and an International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) for PCT applications. The fees will be relatively low, offering a cost effective route for PCT applicants.
On 25 September 2009, WIPO’s General Assembly decided to appoint the Israeli Patent Office (IPO) as an ISA and IPEA under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). After extensive preparatory efforts1 the IPO will begin functioning as an ISA and IPEA on 1 June 2012. Thus, as of 1 June 2012, applicants may select the IPO as the ISA and IPEA.
During the first year the IPO may be selected to act as the ISA and IPEA only for PCT applications of Israeli applicants. Later, and subject to the signing of agreements with other patent offices, PCT applicants for other countries may also be able to select the IPO as the ISA and IPEA.
The search and examination fees that will be charged by the IPO have now been published and they are NIS 3,500 and 1,500, respectively. These fees are significantly less than those charged by other patent offices, such as the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO)2.
The examination standards at the IPO have risen dramatically over recent years and the ability to have patent applications searched and examined by the IPO will be a cost-effective route to benefit from quality searching and examination over the services provided by leading patent offices, such as the EPO.
1 The preparatory efforts included recruiting new examiners, training examiners, conducting an internal pilot program at the IPO, developing and implementing a new computerized system that permits online filing and handling of PCT applications with full integration into WIPO’s system, legislative changes and enacting new regulations that will come into effect on 1 June 2012.
2 The corresponding fees charged by the USPTO are US$ 2,080 and $750, respectively; those of the EPO are US$ 2,426 and € 1850, respectively. Thus, the fees of the Israeli Patent Office are heavily discounted amounting to less than a 1/3 of those of the EPO and slightly less than half of those of the USPTO.
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