International Patent Protection
It is important to note that patents are territorial rights – a patent granted in South Africa can be enforced in South Africa only. However, you may, within 12 months of filing your South African provisional patent application, file foreign patent applications based on your provisional patent application – however, only once each such foreign patent application has proceeded to grant will you have an enforceable patent right in any such countries. This does not mean that you cannot start marketing your invention in such countries, it means that you cannot obtain a patent right if you do not file and prosecute each patent to completion in each of your target markets.
There is no such thing as a “worldwide” patent.
You have to file a patent application in each country in which you wish to protect your invention. There are, however, option which allow you to keep your rights open in most foreign countries before finally deciding on such countries – please contact us to discuss these options. Through our network of foreign patent agents we can file foreign patent applications in your countries of interest.
Contact our foreign patent administration department for more information regarding services related to international patent applications and renewals. Call us: +27 (0) 12 349 7800 or