IMPORTANT NOTICE:
As from 1 July 2019, the South African Patents and Designs Office will implement a distinction between Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) and corporate entities. These changes will impact on the official fees. Read More

Based on your South African provisional patent application, you will have 12 months in which to file a complete patent application. A 3-month extension period beyond the 12 month deadline is available in South Africa only for filing a South African complete patent application.

This is not available in other countries. Failure to file a complete patent application within the set deadlines may result in your patent rights being forfeited.

Once a patent has been granted, annual patent renewal fees are payable. A patent will lapse if the renewal fees are not paid. Patent rights are only valid for 20 years and subject to renewal fees payment. Patent renewal fees must be paid starting from the 3rd year after the complete application was filed to keep the patent in force.

Smit & van Wyk, Inc. patent attorneys services include annual patent renewal payment reminders and administration. International Patents

More information regarding Patents in South Africa

Patents – In simple terms, a South African patent may be granted for an invention that is: New, Inventive and Useful. If your invention meets these three requirements, generally, subject to certain exclusions detailed below…

Biotech Patents – Research and development in the life sciences is extremely costly and time-consuming. The pharmaceutical industry provides a good example of the time-scales and funding one needs in order to bring…

International Patent Protection – It is important to note that patents are territorial rights – a patent granted in South Africa can be enforced in South Africa only. However, you may, within 12 months…

Software Patents – Historically, software has been protected primarily through the provisions in the South African Copyright Act. Examples of subject matter for copyright protection of computer programs and mobile apps are…

Requirements for Patent Application – We need a full, detailed technical description of the invention in order to draft a patent specification. If you have a prototype or drawings of your invention…

Plant and Animal Sciences – According to the patent laws of several countries, one cannot obtain biotechnological patent protection for plant or animal varieties, or essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals…

Patent Search – It is very important for applicants to do a patent search for similar inventions before applying for protection. A Patent Search will indicate whether your idea or inventions has been patented before. Although novelty can never be determined…

Patent Requirements – Although novelty can never be determined conclusively, an indication of the novelty of your invention may be found by conducting patent and literature searches. South Africa has a so-called…

Patent Costs – A novelty search is conducted prior to filing a Provisional Patent Application to identify potentially novel and/or inventive aspects of an invention in light of what already exists (i.e. the prior art)…

Patent Exclusions –  Anything which consists of a discovery; a scientific theory; a mathematical method; a literary; dramatic, musical or artistic work; or any aesthetic creation; a scheme, rule, or method for performing a mental act…