In November 1975 South African physicist and inventor Robert Ledley was granted patent #3,922,552 for a Diagnostic X-ray System also known as a CAT-Scan. Robert Ledley invented a mathematical technique in which the X-ray source and electronic detectors are rotated around the body. The resulting data is then analyzed by a computer to produce a 3D map of the tissues.

This secured them the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The Computed Axial Tomography Scan (CAT-scan) uses X-rays to create 3D images of the body. A normal x-ray is only a 2D picture.

By using a CAT-scan a doctor could not only tell if a tumor is present, but also how deep it is in the tissue. South Africa is backed up by a number of organisations that provide support for inventors and innovators.

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…