Israel

Israel’s patent scene has maintained its vibrancy this year, surfing the wave of countless successful start-ups that continue to prosper in the country. Non-US investment in the patent scene, especially from Asia, has picked up; the medical device space is booming; academic institutions maintain their strong record; and the cybersecurity industry continues to thrive. Fintech and blockchain also look set to be growth sectors in 2019. In addition to this, employee inventions appear to be a hotly contested arena, a trend that reflects the growing awareness of intellectual property as a vital commercial asset in Israel. The near future looks bright for Israeli patent practitioners.

Firms: litigation

  • Gilat, Bareket & Co, Reinhold Cohn Group
  • Liad Whatstein & Co
  • Luthi+Webb
  • S Horowitz & Co
  • Adin Liss Pyernik IP Group
  • Dr Shlomo Cohen & Co
  • Ehrlich Group 
  • G&A Glazberg, Applebaum & Co Advocates & Patent Attorneys
  • Herzog Fox & Neeman
  • Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Offices
  • Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz 

Firms: prosecution

Firms: transactions

  • Highly recommended
  • Gilat, Bareket & Co, Reinhold Cohn Group
  • H-F & Co
  • Herzog Fox & Neeman
  • Horn & Co Law Offices
  • Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Offices
  • Recommended
  • Dr Shlomo Cohen & Co
  • Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz 
  • S Horowitz & Co

Adin Liss Pyernik IP Group

A full-service boutique with considerable strength on both the legal and patent attorney sides, Adin Liss Pyernik IP Group continues to cater to clients’ every patent need. With Dan Adin, Eran Liss and Moshe Pyernik as its three pillars, the firm engages in a wide range of activities, including drafting patent applications for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, defending a key drug in Israeli generic KS Kim International’s portfolio and maintaining its relationship with client Mapi Pharma. Adin is a formidable litigator, with more than 20 years’ experience in the courtroom. His partner Liss is especially good at understanding clients’ needs, given his background working as in-house counsel for an international internet company. Adin and Liss make an unstoppable team when combined: “Strategic, knowledgeable, helpful, attentive and most of all good at what they do, they are excellent lawyers… I have already recommended them to several colleagues.” The duo are also well-known as the authors of Oxford University Press’s Intellectual Property Law and Practice in Israel and are notably keen to share their insights with other leading practitioners. The firm has plenty to shout about on the prosecution side too, with top-notch patent prosecutor Moshe Pyernik garnering rave reviews from his satisfied clients, including one who enthuses: “He does an excellent job of reviewing prior art and office actions, as well as writing clear and thorough opinions. He is simply the best Israeli patent attorney that we’ve used, and we’ve worked with a few.” Another client praises: “Moshe is a highly intelligent attorney, with one of the best understandings of prior art that I know of. He is thorough and careful when drafting and has the utmost integrity – he always puts the client’s interests first.”

Dr Shlomo Cohen & Co

A doyen of the Israeli patent scene, Dr Shlomo Cohen & Co has been widely viewed as a market leader for decades. Particularly strong in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and telecoms arenas, the firm has a wide range of clients in the hottest patent litigation sectors. The beating heart of the practice is undoubtedly courtroom ace Shlomo Cohen, whose experience lecturing in universities, leading the Israel Bar Association and supplying the whole gamut of top-quality patent services continues to drum up business. On the prosecution side, Gail Volman is a trusty guide for those in need of a knowledgeable and friendly expert to help them to navigate the rocky terrain of the Israeli filing landscape.

Ehrlich Group 

Showcasing fantastic litigation, prosecution and transactional capabilities, Ehrlich Group is one of the standout names in Israel when it comes to all-round patent excellence. Serving clients ranging from food giant Strauss Group to IBM, Ehrlich is universally acknowledged as offering a top-notch IP service. The firm’s “highly skilled, responsive and careful” prosecution team, Ehrlich & Fenster, is known, both in Israel and the United States, for its extremely high drafting numbers, expertise in biotechnology cases and meticulous attention to detail. In the telling words of one client: “The firm has strong expertise and understands our brief on a profound level – its drafting is of the very highest quality, and it keeps to tight deadlines without compromising the excellent standard of its work.” The practice is positively booming due to Ehrlich’s ability to make connections in universities as a result of its incredible technology transfer proficiencies; illustrious institutions including the Weizmann Institute, Ariel University and Ben Gurion University are all acolytes of the firm. Gal Ehrlich, the founding partner and managing director, wins plaudits from across the industry, both for his extensive strategic expertise and his charisma. “He’s a great resource and a great friend – it’s very rare for a patent attorney to be as outgoing, persuasive and confident as he is – they’re often back-office people.” “He’s a highly skilled patent attorney, with a truly unusual blend of commercial common sense and expert technical knowledge… he also means what he says when he provides cost estimates, which we appreciate.” Also universally adored by clients for his ability to “swiftly master complex research”, Roy S Melzer is dual-qualified and trusted by Chinese telecoms giant Huawei to handle its patents in Israel, cementing his status as one of the most sought-after electronics and software attorneys in the country. One client says: “I have worked with patent attorneys around the globe, but Roy is by far the finest software expert I’ve ever come across in Israel or the United States. His depth of knowledge and the breadth of his experience – coupled with his unique ability to gauge the essence of an idea, translate it into its core components and extract unique intellectual property from it – are just outstanding.” Paul Fenster’s extensive electrical engineering industry experience serves as catnip to those working in university technology transfer departments, while Maier Fenster continues to be an esteemed leader in the art of medical devices patent applications. Although the litigation side of the practice Ehrlich, Neubauer & Melzer is still relatively young, its growth has been phenomenal – both reputationally and in terms of cases. Yehuda Neubauer, who heads up Ehrlich’s contentious arm, is a seasoned litigator with valuable experience in US IP matters. Neubauer specialises in a wide range of proceedings and there is no case that is too complex for this enforcement maven. On the transactional side, Amit Ehrlich’s deep knowledge of strategic patent monetisation serves as yet another boon for the firm’s clients.

G&A Glazberg, Applebaum & Co Advocates & Patent Attorneys

G&A Glazberg, Applebaum & Co is warmly praised by clients, especially in the area of software patents, for which it is “one of the top offices in Israel”. Notably excellent at maintaining long-term client relationships, G&A likewise has no trouble attracting fresh faces to its paddock; sitting alongside a more than 20-year relationship with IBM, the firm also serves newer clients Amiad Water Systems and machine-learning start-up Anagog Ltd. Also interesting is the firm’s outstanding litigation work with solo inventor Anat Berliner, which is a significant foray into an area that is set to grow over the next few years. Ziv Glazberg remains the focal point of the software prosecution practice. He easily translates technical language into patent poetry and “knows how to understand the essence of what he is trying to protect… he is efficient and effective and achieves phenomenal results which come with a relatively modest price tag”. Clients are extremely positive about the service they receive from Glazberg: “We find him highly professional, with deep legal knowledge, a sharp mind and profound technological understanding.” On top of all this, he is “extremely smart, fun to work with, goes into detail and provides a great service” – a combination clearly much-appreciated. Also turning heads is “the most experienced employee inventions lawyer in Israel”, Nadav Applebaum, a “creative and knowledgeable specialist who combines theoretical knowledge with hands-on experience”. One peer says: “He’s a fantastic commercial transactional lawyer and a great guy, who provides brilliant advice… we’d outsource work to him for sure.”

Gilat, Bareket & Co, Reinhold Cohn Group

A true IP juggernaut in Israel, Reinhold Cohn Group works on the cutting edge and stands tall in all areas of patent work. Comprising booming litigation, prosecution and transactional arms, this Israeli behemoth combines its services to form a well-rounded and “robust” offering, with genuine technical expertise in life sciences, high-tech, physics and medical devices industries among its dedicated patent division of more than 70 practitioners. Reinhold Cohn’s reputation for excellence has also spread outside Israel; it is the only firm in the country approved by the EPO to take its interns, an achievement partly down to a relentless focus on producing first-rate work, while also catering to clients’ every need. The non-contentious side of the practice, Reinhold Cohn & Partners, is handled by an army of talented professionals, all with strong market reputations for watertight work. Life sciences wizard Ilan Cohn has been further reinforcing his standing this year with work for Sanara Ventures (an investment firm established by leading players Teva and Royal Philips) and Velox Digital Printing. His colleague David de Vries is described as “highly motivated, business oriented, a true expert and great to work with” – in other words, every technology client’s dream drafter. Co-head of the technology department alongside de Vries, Ena Pugatsch has particularly extensive expertise in handling opposition proceedings; she is an “invaluable resource with the expertise to balance cost with benefit”. Physics department head Svetlana Stadler’s sheer intellect and ability to grasp complex technologies quickly are sure to impress, while Ehud Hausman’s elite high-tech credentials and software industry experience also hit the bullseye. Renowned for her drug-delivery and water technology expertise, Tamar Morag-Sela is “very responsive, always warm and efficient and has never failed us in all these years”, according to one longstanding client; “there are not many people on earth that deserve compliments like her.” Her prosecution colleague Ronnie Benshafrut is always willing to share his considerable chemical knowledge, communicating outstandingly well with both clients and students of his various published works on patent topics. RC Group’s litigation arm, Gilat, Bareket & Co, is blessed with a similar level of talent; it is lauded for combining decades of practical experience with up-to-date involvement in the law. Leading the way is the “extraordinary” Eran Bareket. “He’s mastered the field of patents,” according to one competitor – a judgement which is hard to refute given his crack track record in negotiating patent term extensions and service invention disputes in the technology sector. Alongside Bareket is his fellow warrior David Gilat, who demonstrated his considerable courtroom talents this year when representing Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, in the Supreme Court. Also notable is Daphna Gilat, co-founder of the firm and transactional partner to clients looking for the most outstanding commercial IP advice.

H-F & Co

At the cutting edge of the transactional space in Israel is H-F & Co, a firm whose ability to command the confidence of the world’s leading technology companies is truly impressive. Clients are effusive in their praise – as one raves: “the firm is hugely professional and very business-oriented; it has created a deep bond of trust and a very friendly relationship with our company.” As well as a hugely significant Supreme Court case representing the founders of Waze, the Israeli navigation app, H-F has been instrumental in large transactions on behalf of Argus Cyber Security, which was acquired by German behemoth Continental this year, and in advising Google on key regulatory issues. The firm’s enviable client roster is partially down to its strong multidisciplinary approach and international outlook, alongside its unwavering commitment to practicality and finding the most commercially viable answer to any legal questions its clients face. Leading the charge is Adi Gillat, a “brilliant IP lawyer” who is “involved in every letter of her deals – on the commercial side she’s great”. Her history of involvement in some of Israel’s largest commercial transactions, as well as her knowledge of data protection in cross-border M&A, make her a regular fixture in the address books of clients both large and small looking for a safe pair of hands.

Herzog Fox & Neeman

There are few firms in Israel that enjoy the reputation that Herzog Fox & Neeman does in the licensing and transactional space: it is a “major legal actor in the high-tech arena” and the largest law firm in Israel to boot, and “a truly world-class firm”. This year, the “good friends and solid lawyers” at Herzog Fox Neeman have certainly been busy, having acted for Mitsui in an asset purchase agreement, Intel in a cross-licensing agreement involving drones, Facebook in its acquisition of messaging communications start-up Redkix and Salesforce in its pick-up of Israeli start-up Datorama. Adding to an already impressive workload, the firm has also been engaged in some interesting litigation, with Gilad Wekselman taking the lead in cross-border proceedings. Karen Leslie Elburg gathers plenty of applause on the transactional side, with clients describing her and partner Jenia Melkhior as possessing “great natural insights and instincts”, as well as being “exceptionally committed to their clients” with “outstanding attention to detail”. “They have always been very professional, provide great service and are always available for instant support.” Elburg is “among the most sophisticated licensing and M&A practitioners in Israel; she integrates the legal and business aspects at a high professional level… if she’s been involved in a transaction, one can rest assured the work is sound and reliable”. Also prominent is partner Dan Sharot, whose international background and expertise in university and hospital spin-offs make him a firm favourite with discerning clients. Viewed widely as an outwards-facing firm, Herzog Fox Neeman is excellent at making clients from across the globe feel comfortable, and in doing so smoothing the path to investment in Israel for high-profile international business with its characteristic “vast knowledge, expertise, availability, kindness and ‘can-do’ attitude”.

Horn & Co Law Offices

The twin driving forces of Horn & Co, Yuval Horn and Ohad Mamann, continue to burnish the firm’s reputation for superlative transactional IP work, especially in the arena where data licensing agreements collide with cutting-edge technologies, such as blockchain, medical technology and machine learning. Horn & Co’s technical breadth means that it can cater to an expansive range of clients, while the depth of each practitioner’s expertise still promises quality. On this year’s agenda has been the completion of a research and collaboration agreement on behalf of Anima Biotech with Eli Lilly (worth more than $1 billion in total), the representation of Vascular Biogenics Ltd in commercial agreements with Nanocarrier Co Ltd and the continued supply of high-level data protection advice to Zebra Medical Vision. Horn has been described as someone you would want on your team rather than on the other side: he is “one of the best IP transactional lawyers in Israel”, according to a recent client with decades of experience in the local market. “He is knowledgeable and experienced, very practical, solves problems rather than creating them and is very nice to work with.” The same is said for Mamann, who is also highly regarded for his outstanding work on cross-border transactions. Keren Kanir brings an international touch to the practice, having been awarded an LLM in the United States.

Liad Whatstein & Co

Spearheaded by “aggressive and talented” litigator Liad Whatstein, the firm which bears his name is lauded by clients for its adaptability, ability to see the bigger picture and superb responsiveness. As well as handling the prosecution and opposition proceedings for life sciences beasts Merck, Novartis, AbbVie and Sanofi, Whatstein & Co is also carving out a nice niche in patent term extensions. On the litigation side, which is its bread-and-butter work, the firm has been busy representing originators Pfizer and Sanofi versus Unipharm in two important cases involving blockbuster drugs Plavix and Viagra. In a similar vein, Whatstein has been acting for Eli Lilly in several other lawsuits against generics, as well as successfully representing the state of Israel in a widely reported action involving service inventions for a variety of medical uses. Whatstein himself is described by clients as “creative and innovative”, “personable and very smart” and “technically very good” in equal measure. “He is extremely customer-oriented; he tries hard to please and succeeds.” Amira Mangelus, his partner at the firm, is also a highly regarded life sciences litigator: “cut from the same wool as Liad, she lives and breathes patent litigation” – clients get “two for the price of one” when they call on the firm’s services. Expect “very detailed, insightful and pertinent advice” in multi-jurisdictional cases, with “excellent service… and broad business acumen and industry knowledge, both inside and outside Israel”. As one client summarises: “I consider these lawyers to be among the best that I work with… I work with many firms in many jurisdictions, but this is the only firm that I work with in Israel.”

Luthi+Webb

Expansion is the order of the day at Luthi+Webb, with the previously separate Luthi+Co and Webb+Co merging this year to form a combined litigation and prosecution powerhouse. Both firms bring exceedingly strong reputations to the table, with Webb+Co renowned for the honest, unflinching prosecution advice it gives to clients and Luthi+Co often praised for its wise counsel and “aggressive, intelligent, intensive, thorough and energetic” approach to litigation. In the words of one competitor: “They are doing a splendid job – it’s always quite a challenge working against them.” The firm hopes that the merger will offer clients the chance to synergise their contentious and non-contentious patent work into one seamless, all-encompassing package. On the litigation side, the team is ably led by Richard Luthi, who is widely considered by peers to be “one of the best IP litigators in our jurisdiction”. “He is very thorough and knows how to stay inside the box very well… you win some, you lose some, but the quality of his arguments differentiate him as a top lawyer whatever the outcome.” His storied career spent fighting for some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical clients has made him a household name in the Israeli IP scene. In the words of another client, Luthi is “distinguished not only by his superior legal skills, but also by his high level of personal integrity and complete dedication to client service”. Also key to the firm’s success is Daniel Lerner who, over the past two decades, has made a name for himself as an intelligent life sciences litigator –he has been involved in some key battles on the innovator side this year, for esteemed companies including Johnson & Johnson, Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Gilead. Equally well regarded is the firm’s prosecution offering, which is underpinned by the lauded biotechnology, medical devices and pharmaceuticals expertise of name partner and founder Cynthia Webb. Alongside her elite academic credentials – having authored more than 30 original research papers – she is known for her “integrity and courage”, giving “extremely honest opinions” and advising clients “without hiding behind safe, vague legal terminology”. This level of quality runs right through her firm, which is described as “skilled and conscientious in all stages of the patent process, from drafting to examination… it has achieved exceptional results for some very difficult cases, and in the areas of genetic engineering and antibody-based inventions, considerate is widely considered to be the best in Israel”.

Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Offices

Meitar Liquornik is a star is on the rise; its transactional practice has gained notable levels of traction this year with both clients and the wider market, and with good reason. Possessing capabilities including licensing, technology transactions, entity formation and the drafting of R&D and strategic agreements – in a plethora of technical areas – it is not hard to see why universities and start-ups flock to Meitar. Head of the technology group David Mirchin, in addition to being a superlative licensing lawyer with valuable US experience, is enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge – he teaches an advanced licensing course at Tel Aviv University Law School and continues to lecture regularly on the conference circuit. His colleague Boaz Mizrahi shares a similar aptitude for hammering out deals in the software, semiconductor and life sciences arenas – a recent highlight being his negotiation of a complex exclusive bio-data licensing agreement with Harvard College on behalf of Tiselia Ltd. As a multi-talented firm with “broad ability in various fields”, Meitar is also capable of balancing complex litigation alongside its commercial work. Inside the courtroom, the “very good” Yoav Oestreicher is the man to watch – a “legitimate player” in the market, he handles tricky service inventions cases with aplomb. This year, he has been busy defending both Stratasys Ltd, a leading figure in the 3D-printing field, and an international agro-chemicals manufacturer against former employees seeking royalties under Section 134 of the Patent Law.

Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz 

New to the IAM Patent 1000 litigation and transactions firm tables this year, Pearl Cohen has a plethora of technical talent with considerable bandwidth (including more than 40 PhDs) and a truly global footprint. “Pearl Cohen is a tech-oriented firm… its approach balances highly impressive practitioners with a creative, holistic, thorough and inspiration-driven outlook; it also has a keen sense for collaborating with world-class scientists and advisers to complete the full scope of its legal work.” On the litigation side, Yossi Markovich enjoys an outstanding market reputation, with one peer describing him as “a great friend, rival and a true gentleman”. Serving this year as chair of the Israel Bar Association IP committee and the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Markovich has a talent for IP dispute resolution and complex litigation. He has been instrumental in filing oppositions this year on behalf of German arms giant Diehl, Israel’s largest private pharmaceutical company Dexcel and in an intricate patent ownership dispute on behalf of the Hebrew University’s technology transfer department. Masterminding Pearl Cohen’s strategic operation is its eponymous managing partner Zeev Pearl, whose wide range of practices – licensing, litigation support and portfolio development – encapsulate the breadth his firm has to offer prospective clients. “His understanding of patent law is unprecedented. We rely on his strategic leadership, extraordinary expertise in the IP world and his impeccable team execution to represent us.” Also integral to Pearl Cohen’s gold-plated transactional reputation is Yael Baratz, whose all-around expertise in licensing for technology transfers has helped OPKO Health Inc, among others. Pearl Cohen is a firm on the rise, with big ambitions for the Israeli patent market.

S Horowitz & Co

Sitting atop the contentious tree, full-service firm S Horowitz & Co is – according to a competitor – “still the first name you think of in Israel for litigation – the number one”. Its “fantastic” practitioners make a point of being available whenever clients need them, and the significant regulatory experience that it possesses as a commercial firm provides a point of departure from most competitors. As well as continuing its longstanding relationship with Israeli generics titan Teva, S Horowitz has also acted for Google and Waze Mobile this year, as well as taking the reins on a case (on behalf of the Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Society of the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel) that will have industry-wide repercussions. “At the centre of it all” is chief life sciences litigator Tal Band, whose name inspires reverence from the rest of the Israeli patent scene. One peer dubs him “the senior IP litigator in Israel”, while another counts him as “one of the best”. “His knowledge, deep understanding of the complexity of the issues at hand, creativity and vast experience set him apart from his peers and have certainly raised the bar for the required level of argumentation before the various instances and other legal forums and tribunals.” Also instrumental are Ran Vogel and Dovev Apel, who each “possess vast knowledge in patent law, drug regulation and life sciences”. Apel’s hands-on approach makes him a valuable asset for ambitious clients, while Vogel has enjoyed a wonderful year, winning three separate blockbuster drugs litigations in the space of 12 months. Rounding off the litigation team is Avi Ordo, who is not only a superb advocate but a world-class IP strategist and value creator; he is identified as a leader in both the IAM Patent 1000 and IAM Strategy 300. Ordo is “extremely thorough and diligent in analysing every aspect of his cases”. Transactional maven Anthony Bloch is also viewed highly by the rest of the market as “one of the top-tier guys”, especially for elite universities looking to commercialise cutting-edge technology. “He’s always professional and pleasant, with a huge amount of experience.”

Sanford T Colb & Co

Carefully tilling the fertile, IP-rich soil of both Israel and the United States, Sanford T Colb is a firm dedicated to high levels of professional service. Founded in 1976 by joint-qualified Sanford Colb, the firm does it all – filing, litigating and licensing with aplomb. Chief point of contact for the litigation practice is the formidable Eitan Shaulsky, whose significant contentious experience pays dividends when the going gets tough.

Soroker Agmon Nordman

Since 1999, Soroker Agmon Nordman has been impressing clients with its ability to manage complex portfolios and provide high-quality patent drafting alongside its original litigation focus. Taking pride in its expert formation of specialist teams, the firm is not afraid to move where the business is – taking the challenging step of opening a Singaporean office in 2016. Specialising in telecoms, computer gaming and e-commerce patents, Soroker Agmon Nordman is well-placed to provide a superb service; Eran Soroker is the key number to dial.

Other recommended experts

The “highly capable” Adi Levit of Adi Levit Law Firm is a “very knowledgeable and accomplished litigator”. He garners plenty of respect from other high-flying courtroom professionals in Israel; his impressive recent work for Unipharm Ltd has commanded ample market attention. Nadav Shichor, of Nadav Shichor & Associates, has a wealth of industry experience to draw on when structuring complex licence agreements. Having worked at Harvard University for four years, he has been on both sides of the fence when it comes to technology transfer agreements. Yotam Werzansky-Orland, of Drori-Werzansky-Orland, is undeniably an expert on IP issues in Israel; together with his partner, Yonatan Drori, he has co-authored key texts on IP legal theory. This expertise is exemplified by his top-notch litigation support. Dr Eyal Bressler & Co’s Joseph Wyse is noted for his steady hand when strategising over the best way to monetise crucial genetics and medical devices patents. With a PhD from London, he brings a valuable international perspective to those lucky enough to procure his services.

Individuals: litigation

  • Tal Band - S Horowitz & Co
  • Richard Luthi - Luthi+Webb
  • Liad Whatstein - Liad Whatstein & Co
  • Dan Adin - Adin Liss Pyernik IP Group
  • Dovev Apel - S Horowitz & Co
  • Nadav Applebaum - G&A Glazberg, Applebaum & Co Advocates & Patent Attorneys
  • Eran Bareket - Gilat, Bareket & Co, Reinhold Cohn Group
  • Shlomo Cohen - Dr Shlomo Cohen & Co
  • David Gilat - Gilat, Bareket & Co, Reinhold Cohn Group
  • Ziv Glazberg - G&A Glazberg, Applebaum & Co Advocates & Patent Attorneys
  • Daniel Lerner - Luthi+Webb
  • Adi Levit - Adi Levit Law Firm
  • Eran Liss - Adin Liss Pyernik IP Group
  • Yossi Markovich - Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz 
  • Yehuda Neubauer - Ehrlich, Neubauer & Melzer, of Ehrlich Group 
  • Yoav Oestreicher - Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Offices
  • Avi Ordo - S Horowitz & Co
  • Ran Vogel - S Horowitz & Co
  • Yotam Werzansky Orland - Drori-Werzansky-Orland, Advocates and Patent Attorneys

Individuals: prosecution

Individuals: transactions