Patent laws differ from country to country. In South Africa patent laws provide legal protection for new inventions which are usable in industry and agriculture.
In South Africa the invention must be brought about by innovative steps and thus provide a new method of doing something or provide a technical solution to an agricultural or industry problem.
Under the patent laws of South Africa, the invention must be absolute novel. This means that there may be no disclosures and usage of the invention anywhere before the application is made. The date of the application is known as the priority date as this is used as basis before which no disclosures may have taken place.
CIPRO which stands for the Companies and Intellectual Property Registry Office is the governing body in terms of new patent applications and existing patents which have been filed within the borders of the country.
Our patent laws allow for an individual to file a patent application at CIPRO without using an intellectual property attorney to do so.
It is however, important to note that once the individual wants to file a complete patent application, that only a qualified patent lawyer will be able to assist with assessment of novelty, usefulness, and obviousness and help with ensuring that the drawings, specifications, inventor details, and invention features are accurate.
For patent applications in other countries, you will have to make use of a patent lawyer as available from Smit & Van Wyk. It is also important to note that you first have to file the application in South Africa before you can file it in other countries as well.
Contact us today as intellectual property attorneys who know and understand the patent laws of South Africa for assistance in patent matters.