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Intellectual Property

Africa
Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Patents in Africa

Our patent department specialises in the identification, protection, prosecution and enforcement of patents in Africa. Our experts litigate on these matters, and further, advise on IP valuation, licensing and related commercialisation aspects. With a passion for development in Africa, our patent department has built a trusted network of African agents over the past decade which allows us to extend these service offerings across the African continent.

As required by law, our patent attorneys are qualified lawyers and have the necessary technical qualifications in either scientific or engineering disciplines. They are therefore well equipped to advise clients on all fields of cutting edge technology including biotechnology, life sciences, chemical engineering, process chemistry, electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, information technology and data analytics. Our patent attorneys work together where necessary to provide the most optimal protection to our clients’ Intellectual Property. As there is no unified filing system or standard in Africa the countries’ local IP laws differ in respect of:

  • the filing requirements;
  • their membership to international conventions, such as the Paris Convention membership and PCT membership;
  • whether they are part of either one of the two regional systems, being ARIPO and OAPI;
  • their regulations in respect of amendments before and after grant of a patent; and
  • any other peculiarities that need to be considered in a particular country.

It is also important to note that patent protection is not available in all African countries. Please contact us for more information. For further information on the filing requirements for each of the African countries and for the various regional systems, please refer to the Africa page.

Patents in Africa, Trademarks in Africa

Smit & Van Wyk provides a full range of Intellectual Property legal services in all African countries where protection is available. We can provide information on the filing requirements in each of the African countries and can also offer information on the various regional IP organisations such as ARIPO, OAPI and the Madrid protocol. We work with a network of trusted and knowledgeable agents to develop the best possible solution to each of our clients’ needs for trade marks, designs and patents in Africa.

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