To: Applicants, Patent Attorneys, Attorneys
From: Dr. Meir Noam, Commissioner of Patent, Trademarks and Designs
Re: Publication of a Design over the Internet as a publication in Israel
1. Section 30 of the Israeli patents and designs act determines that a design should be "new or original, which was not published in Israel before" as a condition for registration of the Design.
2. Until recently, in actual practice, this condition was tested in light of designs which were filed to be registeredd to the Israeli design registry before the date of filing the application to register the "new" design.
3. In light of the technological advancement and the spreadout of Internet use in Israel, a question was recently raised as to whether it is possible to relate to publication of a design on a website, which can freely be accessed from Israel, as a publication in Israel.
4. The question of the location of publication in a case of Internet publication was discussed in Israeli county courts in different context, e.g. in the context of local jurisdiction (see petition 2841/03 (Jerusalem) Reut Electronics Ltd v. Marot Image Ltd., published on nevo.co.il) and in the context of Israeli´s local jurisdictions on crimes committed over the Internet (criminal case (Tel Aviv) 90861/07 Carlton V. The national unit for investigations of fraud, published on nevo.co.il).
The courts ruled that the local jurisdiction sprawl to any place where the Internet publication can be accessed while the international jurisdication was "performed in the worldwide cyberspace, one end in Gibraltar and the other in the state of Israel".
5. A well known Australian ruling determined that slander, aledgedly performed using the Internet by a US newspaper against an Australian citizen, will be considered as if it was performed in Australia. (A.L.R 433 194).
6. This circular comes to make it clear that prior art that can be used against a design includes, inter alia, designs which were published over the Internet before the date of filing the application in Israel, when there is evidence as to the date of publication.
7. Using such publications should be done cautiously and only if the examiner believes that the design he is relying upon was published before the Israeli application was filed.
8. So, for example, publications from various patent offices in the world, including the USPTO and OHIM, the European office of trademarks and designs, where the date of the designs´ publication is mentioned.
Dr. Meir Noam,
Commissioner of Patents, Trademarks and Designs