Contributed By Gilat, Bareket & Co., Reinhold Cohn Group
The Israeli judicial system consists of three tiers: Magistrates’ Courts, District Courts and the Supreme Court. Patent infringement cases are heard exclusively before District Courts as first instance.
Each of the six district courts has local jurisdiction within its district. Local jurisdiction (venue) among the six District Courts is determined by the general principles of choice of venue applicable to all civil litigation; of particular relevance to IP cases are the rules based on the defendant’s residence or place of business or the place of infringing activity.
A claim against a foreign entity that has no place of business in Israel may be brought before the District Court of Jerusalem, which has residual authority.
A leave of court is required in order to affect service out of jurisdiction. If the defendant is unable to challenge the leave, the court will deem to acquire international jurisdiction over the defendant.
Judgments handed down by district courts may be appealed to the Supreme Court without requiring leave. Other decisions, such as decisions in interim relief proceedings, may be appealed only with leave.