Those of us above a certain age recall the 1960's sitcom Hogan's Heroes, about a group of irreverent Allied POWs and their incompetent captors, Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz. The latter tried hard to maintain a low profile. Hence his famous tagline: "I see nothing! I know nothing!"
Working with the Israel PTO's online filing system, we're beginning to wonder if it was designed by Sergeant Schultz, or at least a real-life relative who lives by Schultz's mantra. We recently went to file some voluntary claim amendments, and discovered that there's no mechanism in the system for doing that, at least not in a straightforward fashion.
The system is designed so that first you choose an action from a closed list of actions, then enter the file number, then attach the pdf documents to be uploaded. That in itself is clunky enough, because if you change the choice of action after you've entered the file number, then the file number field is erased and you have to re-enter the number. Why not first pick the file number, then choose what documents you wish to file? That's how the USPTO and WIPO do it.
Even better, "amendment" and "amended claims" are not among the choices of actions available. There are various other choices, such as various types of office action responses, that then provide fields for uploading clean amended claims and marked amended claims, but there's no independent action choice of just "amended claims".
But the real fun part is that the system limits which actions you can choose based on what's outstanding from the ILPTO. If you choose, as we did, "response to office action pk 27", and input a file number, then choose the files to upload with your response, and then click on "add to cart", you're liable to get an error message: "there is no outstanding p.k. 27 in that file", at which point you're barred from uploading your amended claims. Brilliant. It's as if the ILPTO never heard of voluntary amendments, or doesn't want applicants to file voluntary amendments. "I see nothing, I know nothing!"
What we ended up doing was filing the amended claims as part of a "PPH request", in which our cover letter simply said "We submit these amended claims", and filed the amended claims as such, since the "PPH request" action includes fields for uploading amended claims. Of course, the fact that it wasn't a PPH request may fluster the person who processes the documents at the ILPTO. Which is why we're waiting with bated breath for the ILPTO's response.
Oh, did we mention that there's no drag-and-drop function for choosing the pdf documents to upload?
The system may not have been designed by the fictional Sergeant Schultz, but it clearly was designed by people with no experience in online patent filings, and who in Schultz-like fashion remained willfully blind to the far more efficient ways in which other offices facilitate the online filing of documents.