The Patent Office Role

Intellectual Property
Home / IP Insights / The Patent Office Role

The patent office is the authorized office appointed by a country’s government that controls and oversees the issuing of patent rights to inventors. The patent office has the right to refuse the granting of a patent right if the invention and or application does not meet requirements. The South African Patent Office resides with  which oversees the registration of business entities in the country. Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) CIPRO and OCIPE merged to form CIPC. Apart from country-based patent offices, there are also various patent organisations and treaties which regulate the granting of patents in regions and several countries at once:

ARIPO, which stands for the African Registration of Intellectual Property Organization. It is an inter-governmental organisation which promotes collaboration among numerous African countries in intellectual property matters including patents. Countries which are members and parties to specific protocols including the Banjul for trademarks and Harare for patents adhere to the specific guidelines and rules for patent granting via ARIPO. The organisation has 17 member states. One can apply through ARIPO for patent rights in any of the member states.

USPTO, which stands for the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Based in Virginia USA, the USPTO works together with EPO, standing for the European Patent Office and also the JPO, which stands for the Japan Patent Office. Whereas many patent offices, such as the South African Patent Office are non-examining patent offices, the USPTO is a Receiving and Examining Office as well as an authority on international patent searches.