Intellectual Property

South Africa

Patent Flooding

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Patent flooding can be used to gain several patents on minor variations of the originally registered patent from a competitor. This is done to limit the possibilities for the competitor to improve or develop variants for its registered patent. This can then force the competitor to get cross licensing from the rivalling party who started the patent flooding. By means of patent flooding a company can thus prevent a competitor from fully exploiting its patents. It is essential to conduct a full patent search also for variations of a patent before one registers a patent. It is especially true of foreign patent applications.

The USA and Japan are the two leading countries when it comes to patent filing and also patent flooding. It has become known as the registration of patents for defensive reasons rather than for the purpose of using the patents for commercial gain. It is especially the large corporate entity that is guilty of this practice. By means of patent flooding corporations register hundreds of patent variations simply to prevent market domination by a competitor. With this trend also comes an increasing trend of cross licensing. The competitor can simply not fully exploit the potential of its patents without having to in some form or another get cross licensing agreements with the competitors.

The opposite of a defensive patent is the offensive or pioneer type patent. With the offensive patent an inventor carves a niche and gets the opportunity to exploit its patent fully. With patent flooding, however, the few rather valuable patents registered are overwhelmed by the hundreds of registrations for variants. In addition patent flooding also creates a backlog of examinations at the patent offices and thus prevents the system from operating as it should.

What We Can Do For You

South Africa

South Africa

We assist with the filing, prosecution and enforcement of your patent, design, trade mark and plant breeders’ rights in South Africa. Copyright dispute resolution and litigation. Franchise agreements and negotiation. Company registrations. Domain name registration and protection.

Patents in Africa, Trademarks in Africa

File in Africa

Foreign clients who wish to file patent, design and trade mark applications in South Africa and across Africa (including OAPI and ARIPO). Our firm acts as a patent agent as well as a trade mark agent for foreign clients who wish to protect their Intellectual Property in Africa.

World, International Protection

International Protection

Local clients who wish to file and protect patent , design and trade mark applications internationally. Our services include the search, filing and renewal of patents and trade marks in foreign markets such as Australia, China, the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, etc.

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