Contributed By Gilat, Bareket & Co., Reinhold Cohn Group
There is a six-month grace period for the payment of renewal fees. The fee is approximately USD60 for each month the patent renewal fee was not paid (plus the regular renewal fee as detailed above). If all fees are paid during the grace period, the patent is deemed to have never lapsed.
After this grace period, it is still possible to restore the patent, but it would require filing an appropriate application, supported by affidavit (and payment of additional fees of approximately USD200) and it is at the Patent Registrar's discretion whether to allow for the restoration of the patent.
To succeed with restoration, the Registrar must be convinced that the renewal fee was not paid due to reasonable cause and that the patentee did not wish the patent to lapse. The patentee must have asked for the restoration as soon as possible after the patentee (or the one responsible on his or her behalf) learned that the renewal fees had not been timely paid.
If the Registrar of Patents accepts the application for restoration, it will be published for a three-month pre-grant opposition period. Anyone may oppose the application for restoration within three months of the application being published, on the grounds that the Registrar had no basis for allowing the restoration of the application.
If no opposition is filed (or if the opposition filed was dismissed), the Registrar will order restoration, but it may make the restoration subject to conditions.
Prior user rights: anyone who began exploiting the invention after publication of expiry of the patent due to non-payment (namely, after the six-month grace period) shall be entitled to continue to exploit the invention only for the sake of his/her own business, even after the patent is restored. This right cannot be transferred, except together with the business in which that invention was used.