First and foremost, KEEP THE INVENTION SECRET and do not market, or sell it until a patent application has been filed at the South African Patent Office. Although novelty can never be determined conclusively, an indication of the novelty of your invention may be found by conducting patent and literature searches. South Africa has a so-called “absolute” novelty requirement, which implies that any disclosure anywhere in the world before the filing date of a South African patent application will destroy the novelty of your invention, thereby forfeiting your patent rights.
We can discuss the possibility of conducting cursory, fixed cost patent searches to provide you with background information of what has been patented before in your field. These searches need not be very expensive in order to provide you with an indication for what has been patented before.
Details of the invention
We need a full, detailed technical description of the invention in order to draft a patent specification. If you have a prototype or drawings of your invention, this would also suffice, together with a description of the functions it performs and the distinguishing features of your invention.
Details of the inventors
In terms of the South African Patents Act, we need the full names and residential address of the inventor or inventors that contributed inventively to the invention.
Should you wish to proceed with the patenting process, we shall, upon receipt of a deposit, prepare a patent specification for the invention. The patent specification and drawings will, upon completion, be forwarded to you for approval. When you are satisfied that the patent specification and drawings is complete, we shall file a patent application containing the patent specification and drawings at the South African Patent Office in Pretoria. Only after we have confirmed that the patent application has in fact been filed at the Patent Office may you disclose your invention. Keep in mind that the patenting of your invention is no guarantee of its commercial success. In addition, you may also wish to obtain Design protection, or protect your company or product name with a registered Trade Mark. Once a patent has been granted, annual renewal fees are payable and a patent will lapse if the renewal fees are not paid timeously.