Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Why Patent your Invention?

Intellectual Property Attorneys

Patents protect inventions, how they work, what they do, what they are made of and how they are made. A Patent gives the owner the right to prevent others from exploiting their invention without permission. Your invention can be exploited by others who copy, make, use, import or sell your invention. A Patent is also your claim to ownership of the idea and without a Patent you do not have monopoly for your product unless your invention is a trade secret. Trade secrets are only protected as long as the information is kept secret. Although novelty can never be determined conclusively, an indication of the novelty of your invention may be found by conducting searches. South Africa has a so-called “absolute” novelty requirement, which implies that any disclosure anywhere in the world before the filing date of a South African patent application will destroy the novelty of your invention, thereby forfeiting your rights. An inventor may sometimes unwittingly destroy the novelty of his / her own invention by disclosing it prior to filing an application.

Patents are time and date sensitive. You have 12 months in which to file a complete application based on your South African provisional application. However, should you wish to proceed with the filing of a complete patent application, it is important that you contact us within 10 months or so of filing your provisional patent application in order to give us sufficient time to draft and prepare a complete patent application for your invention – failure to do so will result in a surcharge being levied for urgency. In addition, failure to file a patent application or patent applications within the set deadlines may result in your patent rights being forfeited.

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More information regarding Intellectual Property:

Copyright Films
It is possible to copyright films in South Africa under the Copyright Act of 1978, because any cinematograph film or storage, fixation, and production such as signalling of data to produce the work fall under the protection. 

Nigeria Trademark Registration
Nigeria is a first to file country and trademark registration is mandatory to be granted rights over a mark.  Nigeria trademarks are valid for 7 years from the filing date and renewable for further periods of 14 years.

Mauritius Trademark Registration
Mauritius trademarks recognise the Nice Classification of goods and services, and allows for multi-class filing. Mauritius trademarks are valid for 10 years from the filing date and renewable for periods of 10 years each upon payment of the renewal fee.

Franchise Agreements
Franchising legal advice is specialised and differs from other areas of law, thus you need find yourself an attorney that specialises in this specific type of law. Franchise attorneys represent the franchisor, as well as the franchisee. 

Validation of European patents in Morocco
The system for validating European patents in Morocco introduced under the validation agreement between the European Patent Organisation and the government of the Kingdom of Morocco provides European patent applicants with a simple and cost-effective way…

PCT National Phase Patents in Africa
The PCT National Phase is the second of the two main phases of the PCT procedure. It follows the international phase and consists in the processing of the international application before each Office of (or acting for a Contracting State) that has been designated in the international application.