Smit & van Wyk, Inc. patent attorneys deal with matters related to patents and designs in Africa. Our specialised team of attorneys also cover other aspects of intellectual property law including trademarks and copyright.

A patent is an exclusive right granted by a sovereign state to an inventor 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.

Patent Duration in Africa

To view each separate African country, please view the African Countries page.

In each designated ARIPO State: 20 years from the filing date. Renewed annually from the 1st anniversary of the filing date. Member States: Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sào Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. All current Harare Protocol Contracting States are also signatory to the PCT.

20 Years from the filing date. Renewed annually from the 1st anniversary of the filing date. Member States: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo.

A Patent Search will indicate whether your idea or inventions has been patented before. Although novelty can never be determined conclusively, an indication of the novelty of your invention may be found by conducting patent and literature searches on the internet.