How to register a Patent in South Africa

Always keep your inventions a secret – Do not market or sell the inventions until the patent application has been filed. Obtaining a patent is a two-step process spaced 12 months apart. The South African Patent Office will check to see if all the necessary forms, specifications and drawings are included in the application. Important Notice: An invalid patent can be revoked on application to the Court of the Commissioner of Patents.

Step 1
File a provisional  application in South Africa (to obtain the earliest possible date from which to claim rights to your invention). Once the provisional patent has been submitted, additional steps has to be taken within 12 months to complete the application.

Step 2
File a complete application within 12 months of filing the provisional application in South Africa, and/or in each country where you wish to obtain patent protection. To register a patent for your invention there are a 3 basic requirements that an invention need to adhere to according to South African law:

All patent applications must be:

  1. New
    This “absolute” novelty requirement implies that any disclosure anywhere in the world before the filing date of a patent application in South Africa, will destroy the novelty of your invention, thereby forfeiting your patent rights.
  2. Inventive
    There may be similar inventions that have been disclosed to the public in patent specifications or other literature. It needs to be determined whether your invention is considered obvious or not.
  3. Useful
    Inventions with no application in trade, industry or agriculture cannot be the subject of a patent in terms of South African patent law.

A few examples of invention categories:

Machines can be mechanical devices or various devices together with a specific function that will lead to an outcome.

Manufactured items
This include any items not already included under machines, but which are tangible.

The result of a mixture of compounds whether chemical or mechanical.

Specific steps or treatments which lead to an outcome that can be measured.

Alterations to any of the above mentioned products.

More information regarding Intellectual Property

How to Patent an Idea – It is important to keep your idea a secret because a patent may only be granted for an idea that i new, inventive and useful.  If your idea meets these requirements, generally, it should be eligible for a patent in terms of South African patent law, but once you reveal your idea to the public…

Intellectual Property Law – Intellectual property law in South Africa refers to all legislation concerning patents, designs, trademarks and copyright protection. It is meant to protect the intellectual property of legal entities, as intellectual property can also carry significant value…

International Trademark Search – A word or mark that distinguishes your goods/services from the goods / services of others is considered a trademark and may be registered for protection. To avoid infringing on someone else’s trademark, you need to search for similar trademarks that have already been registered…

Patent Attorneys Qualification – In order to enrol for the Patent Attorneys qualification, a stamped examination entry form must be lodged at the Patent Office Prior to 15th January of the year in which the examinations are to be written. Late entries are accepted until 31st January only on good cause shown.

Patent Law in South Africa – Novelty, Usefulness and Inventiveness. Under the Patent Law the invention must be completely new. As such the patent lawyers will conduct a novelty search in trade magazines, online, through databases, and newspapers…

Provisional Patent Application – How to register a PATENT in South Africa Always keep your inventions a secret – Do not market or sell the inventions until the patent application has been filed. Obtaining a patent is a two-step process spaced 12 months apart. The South African Patent Office…

Registered Designs – A South African registered design protects the appearance of an article, unlike a patent which protects the underlying invention on which an article is based. Even though the underlying principle of operation may be the same as a known article, a new appearance may be protectable by way of a South African registered design…

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...

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...

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...