Examination in English: Israel Patent Office’s New Pilot Program
The Pilot Program
The Israel Patent Office (ILPO) recently initiated a pilot program which allows patent applicants to choose to receive office actions in the English language, rather than in Hebrew, as is the current practice. This obviates the need to translate office actions from Hebrew. All applications for which examination has not yet started are eligible.
Duration of the Program
The ILPO did not announce how long the pilot program will last, but based on discussions with a representative of the ILPO, no expiration for the pilot program has been set, and it is possible that the option for applicants requesting English language examination will become standard practice at the ILPO.
Pros & Cons
Most of the examiners at the ILPO are not native English speakers, but the ILPO has been performing search and examination of PCT applications as a recognized International Searching Authority, and has been communicating with applicants throughout the PCT examination process in English. Based on our experience, the level of English in such communications has, on the whole, been reasonable. For non-Hebrew speaking applicants, the pilot program will most probably have a money saving effect, as no English translations of office actions will be required. We do recommend performing a review of the Office Actions, however, so that we can pick up any mistakes or points which are unclear and speak to the examiner before reporting to the applicant.
There is no charge for opting in, whether this is done on a global basis for all of an applicant’s eligible applications or on a one-by-one basis. There will be a small charge for review of the office action.
How to Opt in
If you wish to opt into this program for any or all of your eligible applications, please feel free to let us know JMBmail@JMBDavis.com.