Patent rights obtained through the South African Patents Office grants the inventor exclusive rights to the exploitation and commercial benefits of the invention. As such inventors should endeavour to obtain patent rights as soon as possible for their inventions through provisional applications. The reason for this is that when a patent dispute arises, the filing date of the provisional or complete patent application will be considered. The application filed first will be seen as the valid one.
Since the complete patent application is more expensive than the provisional application and needs to have all requirements met and no more changes or improvements to the invention can be recorded, it is recommended to first file for provisional patent rights to give you a chance of perfecting the invention, while already having protection against infringement.
The provisional application will provide you with a twelve month period in which you have to file for the complete patent application and give you the opportunity to establish whether there will be a market for the invention before investing all your resources into the production of the invention. If you need to make further improvements on the invention, you will be able to add the changes before the complete application is filed.
It should however, be noted that the provisional application does not provide you with enforceable patent rights. This means that while it provides you with some protection it cannot be used to stop others from exploiting the invention based on the provisional application.
It is simply a means for protecting the invention while it being perfected and the commercial potential tested. Get in the help of experts on patent rights.
Contact us today to help you file a patent application for your invention.