Computer programs, mathematic calculus, and mental processes do not meet the criteria of Section 3 of the Israeli Patent Law, as upon execution of such processes, there is no expression of physical properties upon any object, and therefore, the invention is not to be considered in “any field of technology” :
“Indeed, everyone agrees that “mental processes” or “mental steps” and even a whole computer program (by itself) are not eligible for patent registration”.
Nevertheless, on one occasion, the Israeli patent registrar permitted the registration of a mostly software-related patent application, relating to the calculation and display of the expected theoretic path of a projectile fired from an aircraft, based on the aircraft and projectile’s position and velocity. The examiner concluded that the execution of the calculus using a computer achieves a practical utility unavailable otherwise :
“It seems that the examiner has overlooked the element of time, which is of great importance in this application, since, until the pilot will make the calculation mentioned in stage a through d using a paper and pen, time will pass and the enemy’s aircraft will no longer be in the location that the calculus was based upon, thus no object of the invention will not be achievable in such a way. […] I have come to the conclusion that in this case, in light of its circumstances, we should rule in favor of the applicant due to reasonable doubt, and without issuing a binding precedent on the matter of computer program patentability”.
In later years, the Israeli case law permitted the registration of such program comprised patents while outlining the basis for their examination. Claims involving software components should be examined “as a whole” similarly to the examination process of combination claims :
“Similarly to a combination claim that is patentable even if all the system components by themselves were already known, so it is in our case. The software component is only one component (even if an important one) of the claimed system components and there was no reason to examine its patentability independently. The proper test, in my opinion, is examining whether the system “as a whole” meets the legal requirements. The patent was claimed based upon a new combination of the software with the hardware components and not on the software components by themselves. There is an interaction between the software and the hardware. After all, software, without the hardware, and hardware, without the software, has no effect on fuel efficiency of the helicopter”.
Thus, while examining the patentability of a program comprised claim matter, one should find whether, upon the execution of the invention as a whole, a tangible technological process occurs.