Ehrlich Group > Ramat Gan, Israel > Firm Profile

Ehrlich Group
THE ROGOVIN-TIDHAR TOWER, 15TH FLOOR
11 MENACHEM BEGIN ROAD
RAMAT GAN 52681
Israel

Intellectual property > Intellectual property: filing/prosecution

At the forefront of IP prosecution in Israel, Ehrlich Group advises a vast array of universities, research institutions, Fortune 500 companies, hi-tech multinationals, start-ups, as well as private individuals. Both a scientist and eminent patent attorney, Gal Ehrlich heads the practice. Other key contacts in the team include Maier Fenster, who leads the medical devices department and focuses on interdisciplinary inventions as well as building IP portfolios for start-ups, and Roy Melzer, who heads up the hi-tech department and acts for large multinational tech companies and research organisations. Medical institutions, universities, and companies operating in agrotech and nutrition often seek advice from Hadassa Waterman.

Practice head(s):

Gal Ehrlich

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Eviation Aircraft Ltd.

IBM Israel Science & Technology Ltd.

Pfizer Inc.

Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd.

Stratasys Ltd.

Sensona, Inc

Zebra Medical Vision

Evogene

Memed Diagnostics

Kornit Digital Ltd.

Protalix Biotherapeutics

Syqe Medical Ltd.

Digital Turbine, Inc.

Strauss Group Ltd.

The State of Israel, Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development

Work highlights

  • Advising Medical Research Fund of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in a patent application pertaining to EXO-CD24.
  • Advised Zebra Medical Vision Ltd. in filing patent applications worldwide for AI technology.
  • Filed a patent application pertaining to an AI-based priority allocation system for the Covid-19 vaccine.

Intellectual property > Intellectual property: disputes Tier 3

Ehrlich Group complements its IP litigation work with a strong practice in filing and prosecuting both trade marks and patents as well as particular expertise in the gaming and pharmaceutical sectors. Yehuda Neubauer, a seasoned IP litigator with twenty years of experience representing clients in domestic and cross border matters, co-heads the team. Co-head Roy Melzer focuses on advising tech companies and technology transfer offices. Amit Ehrlich completes the leadership trio with his expertise in commercialising patents and the relevant licensing structures.

Practice head(s):

Yehuda Neubauer; Roy Melzer; Amit Ehrlich

Key clients

Bacardi & Company Limited

AstraZeneca

Wissotzky Tea (Israel) Ltd.

The Polo/Lauren Company, L.P.

Hyundai Motor Company

HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES CO., LTD

Enplas Corporation

ŠKODA ELECTRIC a.s.

ŠKODA TRANSPORTATION a.s.

ŠKODA INVESTMENT a.s.

PFIZER

Mad Dogg Athletics Europe, BV

Work highlights

  • Represented AstraZeneca AB in trademark opposition proceedings regarding the mark ‘BREZTRI’.
  • Represented Insitu, Inc. in patent opposition proceedings against Israel Aerospace Industries.
  • Represented Nintendo in several cases concerning distribution of infringing gaming consoles.

Our roots in IP

Tracing our roots back to 1995, The Ehrlich Group is one of the most prominent Intellectual Property Groups both in Israel and internationally. Founded by Dr. Gal Ehrlich, today the Group comprises three pillars: Ehrlich & Fenster (“E&F”), a Patent & Trademark Attorneys firm; Ehrlich, Neubauer & Melzer (“EN&M”) our boutique IP litigation firm; and IPTrade, an IP monetization platform.

E&F is ranked as a top-tier firm by both reputed international as well as domestic guides. The firm has long been the destination of choice for innovative clients in all areas of science and technology seeking unparalleled expertise in intellectual property protection and prosecution.

The Ehrlich Group offers clients access to some of the finest legal and technical and minds in the industry, with more than 160 employees who have worked as jurists, patent attorneys and technical advisors. Our firm can claim renowned experts in all areas of Intellectual Property, including Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, Designs, Trade Secrets Plant Breeder’s Rights, Anti-Counterfeiting, Open Source, and much more.

Our cutting-edge clients

As a leading international patent firm, E&F showcases diverse expertise and extensive technical knowledge that has cemented our reputation as a top choice for both Israeli and international clients. This is evidenced by our strong global reputation and proven track record in the filing, drafting and prosecuting of patents all over the world.

For example, it is no coincidence that we have the highest rate of Patent applications derived from inventions developed in the principal Israeli academic institutions (Tel Aviv University, The Hebrew University, Be’er Sheva University, Weizmann Institute and the Technion), as well as Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (Volcani Center), Tel Hashomer Hospital, Ichilov Hospital, Hadasit Medical Research Services and Development, Mor Research Applications, Columbia University in the U.S. as well as universities and research institutions from China and the Philippines.

Our global reputation

Our Group drafts and submits new Patent applications, managing their prosecution in Israel and directly in the U.S. for leading multinational corporations and Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Samsung, Huawei, Monsanto, Salesforce, Pfizer, Philips, Boeing, Microsoft, Plasson, Playtech Software, as well as countless startups, top researchers, developers and inventors in Israel and abroad, some of which are Nobel Prize and Wolf Prize laureates.

Our Group

Through the unique synergy within the other members of the Ehrlich Group, our clients are put at a considerable advantage by the cross-border legal practice and litigation experience of EN&M, which helps resolve any oppositions to IP rights, infringement disputes involving patents, trademarks, designs or copyrights, or many other types of IP disputes. EN&M also bring experience in litigation proceedings before the Patent and Trademark Registrar, as well as before Israeli Courts, including litigation support in foreign countries including the U.S., South America, Europe and the Far East.

The cradle-to-grave offering also taps into the vast industry expertise of IPTrade, a unique platform developed by the Group with a purpose to support its clients with the monetization procedures of their IP assets, based on the experience and knowledge the group has gained and based on its international connections.

Partner with Ehrlich Group, where your ideas are protected, defended, valued and maximized in full compliance with our mission: “Turning Ideas Into Value.”

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
BioTech Dr. Gal EhrlichGal@ipatent.co.il
Litigation consultant Dr. Paul Fensterpaul@ipatent.co.il
Medical devices Maier FensterMaier@ipatent.co.il
Computing Technologies Adv. Roy S MelzerRoy@ipatent.co.il
IP monetization, litigation Adv. Amit EhrlichAmit@ipatent.co.il
Biotech, immunology, agrotechnology, bioinformatics, biochemistry, canntech Dr. Hadassa WatermanHadassa@ipatent.co.il
Pharmacology, chemistry Dr. Revital GreenRevital@ipatent.co.il
Physics, electronics, electrooptics Dr. Eran NaftaliEran@ipatent.co.il
Hi-tech Geoffrey MelnickGeoff@ipatent.co.il
Litigation, trade marks, designs, copyright, trade secrets Adv. Yehuda NeubauerYehuda@ipatent.co.il
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Dr Gal Ehrlich  photo Dr Gal Ehrlich Founder and Managing Director
Adv Amit Ehrlich  photo Adv Amit Ehrlich Vice President and Legal Counsel
Maier Fenster  photo Maier Fenster Head of Medical Devices Department
Dr Paul Fenster  photo Dr Paul Fenster Senior Patent Attorney & Litigation Consultant
Dr Revital Green  photo Dr Revital Green Head of Chemistry and Pharma Department
Geoffrey Melnick  photo Geoffrey Melnick Head of Hi-Tech Department
Adv Roy Melzer  photo Adv Roy Melzer Head of Computing Technologies Department
Dr Eran Naftali  photo Dr Eran Naftali Head of Physics Department
Adv Yehuda Neubauer  photo Adv Yehuda Neubauer Head of IP Litigation (EN&M), Head of Trademarks and Design Department
Dr Hadassa Waterman  photo Dr Hadassa Waterman Head of Biotech Department
Number of lawyers : 60
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IP in Israel

1. Israel is a Hub of Innovation

Although it is barely the size of New Jersey, Israel is considered a major player in substantial key industries such as hi-tech, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, and more. The young country of Israel is highly developed in terms of life expectancy, education, income per capita, and other human development index indicators.

Bloomberg’s innovation index ranks 60 of the world’s most innovative countries by using seven different points of reference, including the percentage of investments in research and development from the gross domestic product (GDP); production capacity; concentration of high-tech companies; concentration of researchers engaged in research and development; tertiary education efficiency; and, of course, patent activity. In the annual 2021 index, Israel was ranked first place in research and development intensity for the fourth year in a row.

Israel, known as a “start-up nation”, is home to seven world-leading universities, dozens of governmental and public research institutes, and hundreds of private entities engaged in research and development. Tech giants Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and more than 300 other multinational companies have established R&D facilities in Israel. Significant research and development are also performed in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, and in telecommunications, foodtech, cyber security, fintech, legaltech, proptech, power production, and water resources management, to list a few. Israel is first in the world in the number of researchers per 1,000 employed and first in the world in the number of engineers per 10,000 citizens. The top-level academic research, together with Israel’s known innovative culture, makes Israel the ideal place for establishing R&D centers in all fields and industries.

Furthermore, the Israeli government, through the Innovation Authority (formerly the Chief Scientist) is a primary source of R&D funding, especially early stage funding, providing financial support for a substantial portion of Israel’s R&D activities. State funding can come in the form of investments, grants, tax benefits, and more. Israel’s Innovation Authority is responsible for implementing Israel’s policy of encouraging and supporting industrial research and development in Israel through the Law for the Encouragement of Industrial R&D. The Innovation Authority is an independent and publicly funded agency that operates many unique funding platforms for early-stage entrepreneurs and mature companies developing new products or manufacturing processes. This public authority serves as a launchpad for successful innovative projects. The Innovation Authority provides a variety of support programs that operate on an annual budget of about US $300 million.

2. Israel’s Modern and Effective IP Regime

As an innovation hub, Israel’s IP legal regime, including prosecution and enforcement of different kinds of IP rights, is considered modern and effective. Israel is a member of most multilateral intellectual property treaties regulating large aspects of the modern international standards of intellectual property.

Israel has different intellectual property laws that provide monopolies, limited in time and scope, with respect to works of copyright, inventions, designs, trademarks, plant variations, trade secrets and more. Upon expiration of an intellectual property right, the underlying invention, design, work of copyright, or trademark will become public domain, in order to allow further innovation and the evolution of art, technology, and sciences.

Here is a list of International IP treaties where Israel is a contracting state:

2.1. Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1949);
2.2. Brussels Convention relating to the Distribution of Program-Carrying Signals Transmitted by Satellite (1974);
2.3. Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Micro-organisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure (1996);
2.4. Hague Agreement (2019);
2.5. Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration (1958);
2.6. Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods (1949);
2.7. Madrid Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (2010);
2.8. Marrakesh VIP Treaty (2016);
2.9. Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol (1981);
2.10. Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (1960);
2.11. Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1949);
2.12. Patent Cooperation Treaty (1970);
2.13. Patent Law Treaty (2000);
2.14. Phonograms Convention (1971);
2.15. Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (1962);
2.16. Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification (1974);
2.17. Trademark Law Treaty (1994);
2.18. UPOV Convention (1979);
2.19. WIPO Convention (1967);
2.20. WIPO Copyright Treaty (1997);
2.21. WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (1997);
2.22. The Geneva Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms (1971).

These International IP treaties set forth the bare minimum of the monopoly level required from member states. Beyond the treaty’s minimal standards, member states are free to determine their own standards of IP protection, striking the appropriate balance between IP that encourages artistic, technological, and scientific developments, while avoiding granting excessive monopoly rights. As mentioned, Israel is a member of most international intellectual property treaties and maintains monopoly standards that often exceed the minimal standards set in those treaties.

Following Israel’s ratification of the TRIPS agreement (The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) a few decades back, comprehensive changes were made to Israeli legislation on intellectual property. Israel’s revised intellectual property laws are all aimed at effectively fighting intellectual property violations while enhancing the local enforcement mechanisms, forming a special IP police unit, and establishing a comprehensive statutory system that includes pre-judgment remedies like injunctions and ex-parte orders, search and seizure orders, and Customs seizures.

3. Israel’s Intellectual Property laws

In this part, we will briefly introduce Israel’s main intellectual property rights and their unique characteristics and terms of protection.

The translated English version of the local Hebrew legislation can be found on the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) website.

3.1. Patents

The main legislation regarding patents in Israel is the Patents Act of 1976. Israel is a member of the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Micro-organisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure (1996), the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1949), the Patent Cooperation Treaty (1970), the Patent Law Treaty (2000) and the Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification (1974). Accordingly, Israel grants priority status to holders of foreign applications from other member states.

The Israeli Patent and Trademark Office (ILPTO) is the regulatory body for patent prosecution, among others. Patentable inventions in Israel can be a product or a process in any field of technology, which is new and useful, has an industrial application and involves an inventive step. An inventive step is defined as “a step which does not, to an average skilled person, appear obvious in the light of information published before the application date”. The term of protection for a registered patent is twenty years from the application date. The Israeli Patent Act specifically excluded protection from these kinds of inventions: (1) a method of therapeutic treatment on the human body; (2) new varieties of plants or animals, except microbiological organisms not derived from nature.

Patent term extension (PTE) is available in Israel. It allows for the extension of the term of protection for a patent claiming a product that requires regulatory approval prior to being sold, under certain conditions. PTE aims to restore part of the patent term that was lost while the patent holder is awaiting regulatory approval for the product. Such products include pharmaceuticals and medical devices under Israeli law.

3.2. Trade Secrets

The main legislation regarding trade secrets is the Commercial Torts Law of 1999. Trade secrets are entitled to protection without prior registration, unlike patents, trademarks, and designs. The characteristics of trade secrets make them the alternative to patents, but it is an either/situation: Patents are, by definition, public. And trade secrets are, by definition, secrets.

Under Israeli law, a trade secret is defined as commercial information of every kind, which is not public knowledge or which cannot readily and legally be discovered by the public, the secrecy of which grants its owner an advantage over his competitors, provided that its owner takes reasonable steps to protect its secrecy.

The main advantage of trade secrets is that the term of protection is potentially unlimited, as long as they can remain secrets. According to Israel law, reverse engineering is totally permitted and it is listed as an exception to the misappropriation of trade secrets. With regards to the enforcement of trade secrets, under the Commercial Torts Law Israeli civil Courts can award statutory damages (without proof of actual damage) of up to NIS 100,000 for every misappropriation of a trade secret.

3.3. Designs

In 2017 the new Israeli design law and design regulations came into effect (The Designs Law of 2017), replacing the 90-year-old Patents and Designs Ordinance of 1924. The new provisions grant stronger and wider protection to both registered and unregistered designs. Following the new regulation, ILPTO implemented a new online system for filing design applications and for searching existing design registrations in the Israeli Patent Office.

The Reform made significant changes to design protection in Israel, first and foremost by extending the term of protection for a total of 25 years, subject to periodic renewal fees. This is a major change since the term of protection under the old law was only 15 years. Furthermore, the new law provides limited protection for unregistered designs. Such protection is available for products offered for sale or commercially distributed in Israel (including through the internet). The non-renewable term of unregistered designs is three years after publication, very similar to the protection granted to unregistered designs under EU law. The remedies available to the owners of registered and unregistered designs are largely the same as a registered design. However, an important exception is that unregistered designs will not be enforced by the Israeli Customs authorities.

The new law also introduced the option to file international design applications via the Hague system. The Hague system makes the process of obtaining international protection simpler and less costly for Israeli designers and for foreign designers who wish to protect their designs in Israel. It allows international registration of up to 100 designs in 70 contracting parties through filing one single international application.

3.4. Trademarks

A trademark is used to mark products or services. This mark may consist of letters such as the product name, illustration, or other graphic symbols. A trademark gives its owner the exclusive right to distinguish its product, service, or brand from others. Trademarks are directly associated with the brand’s reputation and goodwill and play a key role in securing the brand’s exclusivity. As such, they are one of the most important assets in the company’s intellectual property portfolio.

The main legislation regarding trademarks in Israel is the Trademark Ordinance of 1972 and other trademark-related regulations, such as the 1987 Trademark Regulations (Appeals before the District Court) and the 2007 Trademark Regulations (Implementation of the Madrid Protocol). Israel is also a member state in the TRIPS agreement, the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks, the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, and more.

The ILPTO is the government body regulating trademarks in Israel. Under Israeli law, trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of filing the application. The registration may be renewed for further periods of 10 years each. A mark may be revoked from the register due to non-use.

Israel is a member of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. The Convention provides for the right of priority. This right means that, on the basis of a regular first application filed in one of the contracting states, the applicant may, within a certain period of time (6 months for trademarks), apply for protection in any of the other contracting States. These subsequent applications will be regarded as if they had been filed on the same day as the first application.

Israel is also a member of the Madrid Protocol, which allows for the filing of international applications in Israel through the procedure set up by the protocol. Israeli trademark owners and applicants may also file international applications under the protocol, through WIPO.

3.5. Copyright & Neighboring rights

Copyright is an intellectual property right afforded to an author of an original work. Protected works include artistic, musical, photographic, cinematic, architectural, dramatic works, and more. In Israel, as in most countries in the world, copyright does not protect mere ideas, but only the specific form of expression of these ideas.

The main legislation regarding copyright in Israel is the Copyright Act of 2007 and some provisions of the Copyright Ordinance of 1924. Neighboring rights such as performers’ rights are governed by the Performers’ and Broadcasters’ Rights Law of 1984. Israel is a member of the Bern Convention on the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and is also a contractual part of the TRIPS Agreement. Accordingly, Israeli copyright law provides protection for foreign works in accordance with the provisions of these conventions.

The term of protection for copyright works in Israel is 70 years after the author’s death, with a few exceptions. As a rule of thumb, the author of a copyright-protected work is the owner of the work. However, the Copyright Act provides certain exceptions, like in cases of employment relationships. The default is that the employer is the owner of the work if the work was made for the purpose of the employee’s job and in the course of the employee’s work.

The moral rights of authors are protected according to the Copyright Act. These refer to the rights of the author of a copyright-protected work (1) to have his name identified with his work to the extent and in the manner suitable in the circumstances; (2) that no distortion shall be made of his work, nor mutilation or other modification, or any other derogatory act in relation to the work, where any aforesaid act would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation. Moral rights are independent of the economic rights in the work.

Copyright owners can file civil claims against infringers. Such claims usually involve both an injunction and monetary relief. The Israeli Copyright act enables claims for statutory damages of up to NIS 100,000 for each infringement. Certain kinds of infringements may constitute a criminal offense.

3.6. Customs Trademark & Design Enforcement

Under Israeli law, the owner of a trademark or design registered in Israel has the right to petition the Customs Authority to seize a shipment of goods that are suspected to be counterfeit. The Customs Authority can also initiate the seizure of suspected counterfeit goods and notify the rightsholders accordingly. The rightsholder must deposit a bank guarantee for an amount determined by the Customs Authority, depending on the number of counterfeit goods and their value. The bank guarantee is intended to cover any expenses relating to the seizure such as storage or to compensate the Customs Authority and/or the importer of the goods if the seizure is found to be unjustified.

After the seizure takes place, the rightsholder must file a civil claim against the importer within a limited time frame. If the rightsholders fail to deposit a bank guarantee or file a civil claim before the deadline, the goods will be released. When the amount of the suspected counterfeit goods is small or when the total value of the goods is relatively low, Customs Authority has the discretion to apply a “short procedure” where the rightsholder is not required to deposit a bank guarantee or file a civil claim, subject to submitting a written opinion explaining why they believe that the goods are counterfeit and an undertaking to compensate the importer for damages and to indemnify Customs if the seizure is found to be unjustified. If the importer of the suspected counterfeit goods does not take legal action against Customs Authority and/or the rights owner within a limited timeframe, the goods will be destroyed.

The Israeli enforcement system has greatly evolved over time in order to provide real protection to intellectual property rights registered in Israel. Following the recent increase in commercial importation to Israel, the Israeli Customs Authority continues to initiate proactive activities in cooperation with the rightsholders or their representatives in Israel. According to a recent report made by the Israeli Tax Authority, about 98% of all counterfeit goods were seized at the Customs Authority’s initiative.

3.7. Geographical Indications & Appellation of Origin

A geographical indication is a sort of intellectual property right over the use of names of certain geographical locations in product names. The use of these locations as an indication of the product’s source demonstrates that the product holds a certain quality or characteristics that are identified with that geographical environment.

One type of geographical indication is an appellation of origin – an intellectual property right that protects the geographical indication of a defined area. An appellation of origin requires registration of the name of a country, region, or locality contained in the name of a product and intended to convey that such product originated there and that its quality and properties are mainly due to that geographical area, including its nature and population.

The protection of appellations of origin in Israel is derived from the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration (1958). The Lisbon Agreement provides protection for the “geographical denomination of a country, region, or locality, which serves to designate a product originating therein, the quality or characteristics of which are due exclusively or essentially to the geographic environment, including natural and human factors” (Article 2 of the Lisbon Agreement). Such appellations are registered in WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) upon the request of a contracting state. Nowadays, there are 30 contracting states to the Lisbon agreement, including France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Mexico, and Israel.

3.8. Other Intellectual Property Provisions

The good reputation of a business (“goodwill”) is often considered to be a sort of IP right. Accumulating a positive reputation requires investing resources and effort. In many cases, people try to “cut corners” and use trademarks that belong to other businesses in order to unfairly attract their customers to their new business.

The main legislation regarding the protection of goodwill in Israel is the Commercial Torts Law of 1999. According to the tort of passing off, A business shall not cause the goods he sells or the services he offers to be mistaken for the goods or services of another business or related to another business.

Another legal tool that is often used in intellectual property cases in Israel is unjust enrichment. According to the Unjust Enrichment Law of 1979, when a person obtains any property, service or other benefit from another person without legal cause, then the beneficiary will make restitution to the benefactor.

Previously, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that in some cases of “borderline” IP that fails to be protected by traditional IP laws, may be protected from misappropriation under unjust enrichment. The term of this protection is the infringing use must be coupled with an “additional factor” such as unfair competition, contract violation, bad faith, etc.

Ehrlich Group to assist Ukrainian refugees.

Ehrlich Group is eager to assist refugees who fled Ukraine by providing them with accommodations and basic provisions. However, and more importantly, we wish to provide them with remote, hybrid, or in-primacy professional training as an Intellectual Property Paralegal. This profession, which is in high demand worldwide, does not require a particular license to practice and can also be acquired and/or practiced remotely.