The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations located in Geneva, has decided during its annual assembly meeting, which took place over the weekend, to recognize Israel as an International center for the search and testing of patents. The Jewish state is herefore added to the list of 15 leading countries in the field.
In practical terms, the decision means that people outside of Israel will be able to apply for patent testing and upon approval from Israel the patent will also be recognized internationally. Up until now such applications, whether from Israeli or foreign citizens did not receive international recognition after having been recognized by Israel.
The recognition of Israel as an international center for patent search and testing entails meeting several conditions, including at least 100 patent testers and minimal documentation in databases for patent search. Israel is also obligated to meet high standards of quality assurance systems.
Justice Ministry Director General Attorney Moshe Shilo congratulated the WIPO's decision and said, "This decision solidifies Israel's standing among countries promoting important international projects and constitutes an international recognition of its abilities in the field of technology, as well as in other areas."
Dr. Meir Noam, patent registrar and Israel's representative in the WIPO's assembly said, "The WIPO's recognition and Israel's addition to the top 15 countries in the field will enable an upgrade of the Patents, Designs and Trademarks Office to the highest standards as far as search and testing of patents is concerned."