Israel Patent Office Report 2021
2020 was a year of crises, alongside a prominent regeneration in technological fields, directly or indirectly related to finding a solution to the Corona pandemic.
The Israel Patent Office (ILPO) has now published a report summarizing its 2020 activity, which is available on the ILPO website. This report indicates that despite the expectation of an economic slowdown in 2020, the upward trend in patent application filing in Israel was maintained, with a 5% growth in comparison to 2019, both by foreign applicants and Israeli applicants. A total of 8,123 patent applications were filed in 2020 in Israel.
The increase in patent applications in Israel was observed more significantly in the fields of chemistry (an increase of about 8% compared to 2019) and in the areas of Human Necessities (among others, agriculture, food, health, an increase of about 11%). This increase is in line with the trend in the European Patent Office, where, in 2020, an increase of about 10% was observed in patent applications in the pharmaceutical fields, and a 6% increase in the biotechnology fields.
The report also states that in 2020 five times as many “Green Applications” (applications for technologies aimed at helping to improve the environment) were filed. This trend is in line with the Patent Office’s decision made in April 2020 that applications aiming to diagnose, treat, prevent, or eradicate the Corona virus in any way, would be considered Green Applications, and would therefore be eligible for priority in examination of the application.
The data appearing in the report also supports the organizational changes that the Israel Patent Office has been implementing in recent years, in which additional patent examiners have been added to their staff, examiners’ working guideline have been improved, computer systems have been improved and installed to support the examination process, and a service level convention has been published in order to encourage the commitment to quality of service. The report indicates that the trend of streamlining examination continues, with a decrease of about 50% in the duration of examination of patent applications since 2015.However, there is still a difference in the duration of examination in the fields of biotechnology, chemistry and pharma, that remains higher than in other fields.
As a direct continuation of the positive changes that the ILPO is undergoing, it recently launched a new search engine which will undoubtedly allow for an additional level of efficiency in the examination process, by making information for Israeli applicants and foreign applicants accessible, among other things. This step aligns the ILPO search engine features with parallel examination authorities’ search engines worldwide.