Patents, Trade Marks & Copyright Banner

Complete Patent Application

Patent Application Process

Obtaining a patent in South Africa is essentially a two-step process, with the two steps being spaced 12 months apart. Once a complete patent application has been filed, it is impossible to add additional matter. The reason for this two-step approach to patents is therefore to give you time to improve your invention. Furthermore, any modifications that you make to the invention as contained in the provisional patent specification must be kept secret until such modifications have been captured in a second provisional patent application or are included in the eventual complete application.

A patent is an exclusive right granted by a sovereign state to an inventor for a limited period of time in exchange for the details of that invention. The procedure for granting a patent vary widely between countries according to national laws and international agreements, but a patent application must include claims that define the invention. These claims must meet relevant patentability requirements, such as novelty, usefulness, and non-obviousness. It is highly recommended that your claims be written by a qualified patent attorney or patent agent.  Smit & Van Wyk Intellectual Property law firm specialises in Patent PCT National Phase applications in most African countries including South Africa, Angola, Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, Nigeria, OAPI and ARIPO Contracting states. The patent attorneys at Smit & Van Wyk provide a wide range of patent-related services across multiple industries and fields of technologies, including patent drafting, filing, prosecution:

(1) We prepare and prosecute patent and PCT applications;
(2) Advise on the patentability of inventions;
(3) Help clients license, franchise or assign their rights;
(4) Conduct patent searches;
(5) Handle the payment of maintenance fees;
(6) Record amendments to a patent and translate patent specifications into local Languages.
(7) How to patent an idea

Step 1 – Provisional Patent Application

The first step is to file a South African provisional patent application for your invention. This is done to obtain the earliest possible date from which to claim rights to your invention – much like an option to protect your invention.

Step 2 – Complete Patent Application

The second step is to file a complete patent application within 12 months of filing the provisional patent application in South Africa, and/or in each country where you wish to obtain patent protection. This application or applications will claim a first (or “priority”) date from your provisional patent application. In other words, the rights you are protecting date back to the filing date of your South African provisional patent application. During the initial 12 month patent grace period, your rights are kept open.

Patent Duration

The patent has a duration of 20 years from the date of filing or the PCT International filing date, with no possible extensions.

Maintenance fees / Renewal fees

Annual maintenance fees are payable from the third anniversary of the filing date or from the PCT International filing date. There is a 6-month grace period to pay the maintenance fees.

Patents

Inventions, Ideas, New, Inventive and Useful, Gadgets, Biotech

Designs

Appearance, Aesthetic, Functional, Industrial Design, Design Patents

Tarde Marks

Name, Slogan, Logo, Shapes, 3D Marks, Holograms, Motions

Copyright

Literary, Musical, Artistic, Sound Recordings, Broadcasts, Photography

Franchising

Buying or Starting a Franchise, Franchise Agreements

Intellectual Property in Africa

Smit & Van Wyk Intellectual Property services spans across the entire African continent. Patent, PCT National Phase applications and Trade Mark filings in most African countries, OAPI and ARIPO.

ARIPO and OAPI
Many African countries form part of ARIPO or OAPI allowing for the filing of only one application to obtain protection in multiple territories. These regional systems reduce the administrative burden of those countries and support a better output of the relevant laws.

Popular countries to file in Africa
South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Kenya, Angola, Tanzania, Mauritius, Tunisia, Zambia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Seychelles.

Recent Articles

Egypt Trade Marks

Egypt Trade MarksEgypt is a First to File country and whomever first files the trade mark gets the rights. Egypt trade marks are valid for 10 years from the filing date and renewable for further periods of 10 years. Egypt is a member of the Madrid Protocol which offers international trade mark...

Lockdown Notification: Plant Breeders’ Rights

Notice to all directorate: Genetic Resources Clients  Delivery of application forms and seed This serves to notify all clients that during Level 4 of the Lockdown, Applications in terms of the Genetically Modified Act Applications in terms of the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act Seed submitted for...

Mozambique Patents

Mozambique Patents Patent and PCT National Phase Applications: Mozambique Smit & Van Wyk Intellectual Property law firm in Africa specialise in Mozambique Patents and PCT National Phase applications. Mozambique patent filing options include: Patent of Invention, National Phase PCT...

COVID-19 Lockdown

COVID-19 LockdownIntellectual Property in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic It is evident that the world is facing uncharted territory as a result of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. There is a great deal of uncertainty and many people are, for the first time, grappling with concepts such as...

ARIPO Patent Filings

ARIPO Patent Filings ARIPO Patents Smit & Van Wyk Intellectual Property law firm specialises in Patent and PCT National Phase filings for ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organization). ARIPO is an intergovernmental organisation for English-speaking African countries which...

Update on INTA’s 2020 Annual Meeting

INTA 2020 Updates"We have been monitoring this public health situation very closely and have been following updates from the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health—Singapore. First and foremost, our thoughts continue to go out to all Chinese citizens and in particular to all INTA...

CIPC Official Fees Increase

THE INITIAL DATE  FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INCREASE IN RENEWAL FEES HAS NOW BEEN SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY.Clients being advised to pay full term renewals before the increase in renewal fees Increase in Patent and Design renewal fees in South Africa Proposal to pay full term Patent renewal...

Water Research Commission (WRC) workshop

Water Research Commission (WRC) On 20 March 2019, Wessel van Wyk was privileged to present at a workshop hosted by the Water Research Commission (WRC) of South Africa. The workshop, entitled “A Framework for Management of IP Emanating From WRC-Supported R&D”, was aimed at strengthening the...

GIPC 2019

GIPC: Global Intellectual Property Convention 2019 Bangaluru, India  Wessel van Wyk attended the 11th Global Intellectual Property Convention (GIPC) in India from 17 - 19 January 2019. The GIPC is Asia's leading conference on Innovation and IP for in-house Intellectual Property counsels,...

365 Ubuntu Climbs

365 Ubuntu Climbs With the Renaissance Guy The Renaissance Guy, Andrew Patterson, has a goal of hiking up Table Mountain, Cape Town, every day for a full year… but for what purpose? Last year, Andrew realised that he had a calling to contribute something positive in South Africa, so he started the...