South Africa Patent Laws favour the usage of attorneys Even though it is possible to file a patent application directly without the usage of a patent lawyer or attorney, it cannot be recommended. The reason is simple. The South Africa patent laws favour the usage of an attorney.
The South African Patent Office is a non-investigating office. This means that you can complete the application, file it and even receive the patent right upon payment of the required fees without the invention complying with all the requirements. It is not a loophole in the system.
It simply means that the responsibility lies with the applicant to ensure that the invention is indeed patentable and that the application will be done correctly.
The snag comes in when another applicant or company questions the patentability of the invention down the line or argues that the idea was not original at all. Lawsuits may follow and all the money already spent in the commercial development of the patent may be lost forever.
You will need the help of a patent lawyer who knows the South Africa patent laws and will conduct the novelty searches and apply in the correct manner right from the word go.
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