Two important developments have taken place in Israel over the past year. First, the Madrid Protocol came into force on October 1 2010, ushering in a new era for trademark registration. Although filings under the Madrid System got off to a slow start, sources report that applications are picking up rapidly – approximately half of the marks filed by June 2011 were Madrid applications, and trademark specialists expect this number to increase as domestic companies begin to familiarise themselves with the new processes. The Madrid System has greatly simplified trademark filing for local clients, which can now file in several countries simultaneously, relatively cheaply and efficiently; this has been particularly helpful for companies seeking to build global trademark portfolios. International clients have also been quick to take advantage of the new regime; commentators report a decrease in the amount of foreign applications directly filed in the country, with many applications now coming in through the Madrid System. The second important development is the appointment of the new trademark commissioner, who took up his role in April 2011. Practitioners are watching closely to see what changes will result from his appointment.
The “thorough and knowledgeable” Neil Wilkof heads the trademark department at Dr Eyal Bressler & Co. He wins accolades as “a lawyer who really appreciates brands and understands the practical aspects of licensing”. Heading the IP group at Glusman Shem-Tov Chowers Broid & Co, Miriam Hackmey has developed “hugely significant and valuable” expertise in trademark strategy, portfolio management and transactional trademark matters; she represents a variety of clients both at home and abroad.