December 1, 2009

Preferential Status for Patent Applications Relating to “Green” Technologies

Ena Pugatsch, Partner, Co-Head of Technology, Mechanics & Designs Practice
Ena Pugatsch

Partner, Co-Head of Technology, Mechanics & Designs Practice

Reinhold Cohn & Partners
Dr. Ilan Cohn (Former Partner), Senior Partner
Dr. Ilan Cohn (Former Partner)

Senior Partner

Reinhold Cohn & Partners

In line with the growing trend of patent offices worldwide the Israeli Patent Office (IPO) will grant a preferential status to patent applications relating to “green” technologies. 

In accordance with new Registrar’s directives, a special treatment will be offered to patent applications for inventions in the field of environmental protection (referred to in the Registrar’s directives as “Green Applications”). These directives were announced in a recent Registrar Circular Letter M.N.76 dated December 13, 2009. These new directives will come into effect on December 27, 2009. “Green Applications” are patent applications for inventions that can improve the environment, among others, by reducing global warming, reducing environmental pollution of air, land and water, non-polluting agricultural technologies, and others.

The preferential status to be given by the Patent Office to “Green Applications” will accelerate examination: a “Green Application” will come up for examination within 3 months from the date on which the application was classified as such.

While accelerated examination procedure was always available under a variety of circumstances, these circumstances did not include ‘green’ technologies, and a request for the acceleration had to be accompanied by a supportive affidavit and by the payment of an official fee. Obtaining an accelerated examination status for “Green Applications” according to the new directives will not require any such affidavit or payment of fees.

Applicants believing that their application should be classified as a “Green Application” can submit to the Patent Office an explanatory document clarifying how the invention disclosed in their patent application serves to improve the environment. A petition to classify an application as a “Green Application” can be submitted at filing but can also be submitted with respect to any pending application that has not come up for examination.

We urge our clients who have pending patent applications, with respect to which the examination has not yet started, and who are interested in accelerating the examination of their patent application(s), to review these applications and let us know which of them can be qualified as a ”Green Application”.

This article is provided for general information only. It is not intended as legal advice or opinion and cannot be relied upon as such. Advice on specific matters may be provided by our group’s attorneys.

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