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Eligible Patents In South Africa and Abroad

Intellectual Property

Eligible patents are the inventions which qualify for patentability according to the patent office and acts of the specific country or the specific patent cooperation treaty for a region or group of member states. Some inventions cannot qualify as eligible patents including for instance, scientific methods and mathematical formulas. In South Africa computer programs cannot be eligible patents, but are protected under copyright. The European Patent Convention provides a list of inventions which cannot become eligible patents including that of works of aesthetic creations, information presentations, rules for performing mental acts, rules for playing games, computer programs, discoveries, and scientific theories as well as mathematical formulas.

It is important to note that the subject matter for eligible patents differs from country to country and treaty to treaty. As such it is important to get legal guidance regarding what is seen as an eligible patent in a specific country.  Smit & Van Wyk can assist in this matter. We have an extensive team of experienced patent attorneys and support staff to provide legal guidance to inventors who wish to register their inventions as patents in South Africa and abroad. In South Africa an invention must be novel, not obvious to someone skilled in the particular trade, useful in industry or agriculture and original. It must involve an inventive step. In the USA an invention must meet the requirements of process, and manufacture, composition of matter or machine to be considered as an eligible patent.

The USPTO is an examining office whereas in South Africa the patent office is a non-examining office. This simply means that the responsibility lies with the patent attorney or the applicant to ensure that the invention meets the requirements for an eligible patent. As such the patent attorney conducts a complete patent search to ensure that the invention is indeed novel. The attorney furthermore assesses the invention for originality and inventiveness. In addition the attorney ensures that the application is completed correctly and that all claims made are done correctly in addition to assisting the client in the drawings and specifications settings. Contact us at Smit & Van Wyk for legal guidance regarding eligible patents.

Posted on 8 June 2011
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Intellectual Property in South Africa

Smit & Van Wyk deals exclusively with patents, designs, trademarks, copyright and plant breeders’ rights in South Africa. Our team of Intellectual Property attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources to give expert legal advice regarding your Intellectual Property portfolio. We can assist with the protection, prosecution and enforcement thereof. It is our mission to provide unparalleled service to our treasured clients by developing dynamic solutions which are tailored to suit individual Intellectual Property needs. The key to achieving this lies with our vibrant people, who are eager to go beyond the call of duty.

Patent Attorneys
It is highly recommended that your claims be written by a qualified patent attorney or patent agent. 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 and prosecution.

South Africa Intellectual Property
Smit & Van Wyk deals exclusively with patents, designs, trademarks, copyright and plant breeders’ rights in South Africa. Our team of Intellectual Property attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources to give expert legal advice regarding your Intellectual Property portfolio.

Franchise Attorneys
Franchising legal advice is specialised and differs from other areas of law, thus you need find yourself an attorney that specialises in this specific type of law. Franchise attorneys represent the franchisor, as well as the franchisee. 

PCT National Phase Patents
The PCT National Phase is the second of the two main phases of the PCT procedure. It follows the international phase and consists in the processing of the international application before each Office of (or acting for a Contracting State) that has been designated in the international application.