I feel like every time I use the ILPTO's electronic filing system, I discover another bug...and another potential work-around. The latest? Read on.
We've got a national phase application that's been sitting at the ILPTO for several years. They still haven't published it under 16A (18-month publication or soon-thereafter-for-national-phase-filings). Needless to say, they haven't issued a pre-examination (S18) letter either, in which they ask for submission of an IDS-like document and some other information.
But corresponding patents have been issued in several countries, including some from which we can do a 17(c) request (amend the claims in Israel to correspond to the claims granted elsewhere and piggyback on those). So I went into the system to see if we could first file a S18 response. As expected, the answer is, "NO. YOU CAN'T FILE A S18 RESPONSE BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T SENT YOU A S18 LETTER, YOU NINNY!" Well, it wasn't quite in those words, but you get the idea. The system's fascist tendencies preclude us from filing a S18 response until we have been summoned to file such a response. Even though we're ready to go with it.
Realizing that "no" is not the right answer, on a hunch I poked around and found that we CAN file a supplemental S18 response (השלמת תשובה לסעיף 18).
Even though the system won't let us file, and therefore we haven't filed, an initial S18 response.
As the late Anna Russell would say, "I'm not making this up, you know!"
At least the system will let us file the 17(c) request.