Hand on my Heart: The patents behind the meteoric success of Biosense

The need

Biosense, founded in 1993, brought upon a revolution in the medical industry. Founded by  cardiologist Prof. Shlomo Ben-Haim, the company was the first to develop precise, real-time three-dimensional (3D) mapping systems for the heart, by way of catheters with smart sensors for navigating inside the body and treating cardiac arrhythmias

The company’s primary focus was – and continues to be – a procedure called ablation. While this is now a common procedure, back then it was a breakthrough approach. Ablation could work wonders, but it had a major challenge – locating where ablation is needed most. Biosense revolutionized the procedure by developing a system for navigating inside the arteries of the heart to arrive at the exact optimal point for ablation, so as to balance out the arrhythmias.

Understanding the immense potential of their product, the company identified the need to register patents for their sophisticated catheters early on. This was crucial for protecting their advanced technology from unauthorized use, ensuring revenue growth, as well as increasing its attractiveness to potential investors in the medical field. 


The company’s first patents were written by Dr. Daniel Kligler, who worked in close cooperation with Biosense’s team of inventors, led by Asaf Gov-Ari. In its first year of operation, the pioneering startup company had already filed approximately twenty patent applications in the U.S. and Israel that were written by Mr. Kligler. This number would increase each year, as new patents were added at a consistent pace.

“The goal of the company’s first patent applications was first and foremost to protect their groundbreaking technology, namely the procedure of ablation via advanced catheters,” says Kligler. “It sent a strong message to the other players in the sector – that this revolutionary field is protected for a period of twenty years (the lifespan of the patent), wherever the patent has been filed.”

With their technology protected by such strong patents, Biosense became an attractive acquisition target. Johnson & Johnson jumped at the opportunity of acquiring them, and their attractive patent portfolio along with it. Typically, a conglomerate like Johnson & Johnson will then bring on their own patent attorneys to handle the new unit of their business. However, this was not the case with Biosense.

The patents unit of Johnson & Johnson was so thoroughly impressed with the company’s comprehensive patent protection, that they decided to continue working with Kligler & Associates to register patents for Biosense – now its subsidiary – both in the U.S. and in Israel. “We chose to continue working with Kligler & Associates also in the framework of Johnson & Johnson because of the proven success of registering patents with a deterring effect, because of the professional staff that provides us with a swift and thorough response up to international standards, and above all – thanks to the firm’s deep understanding of our technology,” says Gov-Ari, today the manager of Biosense’s Advanced R&D team within Johnson & Johnson.

In the twenty year span since then, Daniel Kligler and his team are responsible for the filing of more than 400 patent applications in the U.S. for Biosense. All patents are filed according to a specific methodology that has led to optimal patent protection. “Once a month we meet with the company’s engineers to identify the most innovative inventions, which will protect Biosense and build upon its commercial success,” says Kligler. The working process includes meetings between the patent writers, all of whom have an appropriate engineering background, and the company’s engineering development team, to discuss the essence of the inventions’ technologies, and to move forward from there to writing the patent application and preparing to file it in the U.S. Patent Office. Based on the applications filed in the U.S., Biosense files applications in Israel. 

The Result

 “A patent application is more complex than a description, diagrams, and at the heart of the matter – claims, which define the technological invention in legal terminology,” explains Mr. Kligler. “The secret to the success of a successful patent is the correct wording of the claims, broad on one hand and precise/exact on the other. This sophisticated combination is what enables Biosense to protect its products – and to guarantee continued commercial success.”

This method has proven itself well. Each year the company is ranked first in both the number of patent applications in Israel, as well as the number of actual registered patents received. In each category there is a monumental gap between Biosense and the companies below it. The company’s senior inventor, Asaf Gov-Ari, is the preeminent inventor in Israel and appears as the primary inventor on no less than 200 registered patents – a record number.

“Our patents are not only an excellent means to protect our technology, but rather first and foremost they are a commercial catalyst,” says Asaf Gov-Ari. “At the beginning of our journey, the portfolio of patents signaled to investors that we understand business and know how to protect ourselves. Today, more than twenty years after the acquisition, the company’s huge patent portfolio guarantees that we can compete in the optimal manner against similar companies in the sector, and that we’ll continue to drive the success of the company.”


Last Patent issued in: 2021
Working with us since: 2011
Industry: Lorem ipsum
Number of patents issued: 8
Team involved:

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Main Challenge: The year was 1997 when the exciting news broke. Johnson & Johnson, ranked 39th on the Fortune 500, would make its first entry into the Israeli market with a $427 million purchase of Biosense. This shattered the then-record for Israeli exits, and came more than a decade before the tiny country would be labeled the “Start-up Nation”. Yet, none of this would be possible if Biosense did not fiercely claim and defend their burgeoning patent portfolio. In doing so, they retained the preeminent local firm for IP protection – Kligler & Associates.

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