ILPTO Update: Patent Oppositions No Longer Automatically Stayed
According to a series of recent ILPTO decisions, the ILPTO will no longer stay opposition proceedings against the parent application pending the examination of its divisional applications, if the stay is likely to significantly delay the opposition to the parent.
Israel is a pre-grant opposition country. The stay of opposition proceedings pending the examination of the divisional application/s resulted in significant delays in the proceedings and consequently in patent grant. In some instances, the applicant was required to withdraw pending divisional applications in order to remove the stay. The original motivation underlying the stay policy was to prevent the conducting of two independent proceedings relating to the same or similar subject matter, in particular as oppositions at the ILPTO involve the exchange of evidence and cross-examination of experts.
While the ILPTO still retains discretionary powers to stay the opposition proceedings against the parent, the focus has now shifted to applicant’s right to obtain patent protection within a reasonable time frame. In a welcome change of policy, it appears that considerations relating to procedural efficiency will no longer be sufficient to significantly delay the hearing of the opposition against the parent application.
This update article is provided for general information only and is not in lieu of legal advice. Please contact us directly for any required advice on specific matters.