IP Registrations: Patents

The field of patents is as broad as it is complex: the purpose of this article is not to describe any particular aspect in detail, but merely to introduce some of the more important aspects of the practice of patent prosecution in South Africa.

In South Africa, inventions are required to be inventive and novel on an absolute (ie worldwide) basis. A number of automatic exclusions to patentability are to be found in the Patents Act. However, examination of South African patent applications is conducted as to form only, and no substantive examination is made.

South Africa is a PCT member state. Accordingly, PCT national phase applications, Paris Convention and non-convention patent applications are all possible in South Africa (of course, each of these types of applications has its own rules and peculiarities).

The maximum term of registration is twenty years from the date of filing of the complete specification, and a patent must be renewed every year from the fourth following the filing date.

At Margo® Attorneys, Inc., our service offerings include:

  • the preparation, filing and prosecution of patent, design and trade mark applications, in South Africa and abroad;
  • IP searches: including patent & design novelty searches, and name searches in all disciplines;
  • commercialisation and preparation of commercial agreements, including licences, franchise agreements and technology transfer & assignment agreements. Click here for more detail on our Commercial IP services;
  • IP audits; and
  • cyberlaw and domain name registrations: including the resolution of disputes in this field.

Whatever it is that our clients and associates require: from trade mark applications in the Ukraine, to renewals in Guinea Bissau, to assignments in China: at Margo® Attorneys, Inc., clients acquire best knowledge with above average delivery of service.

This article is intended to be general in nature. It is not intended to be a comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute an opinion, and should not be construed as such. It should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific advice regarding particular scenarios. Margo® Attorneys, Inc. cannot accept responsibility for the consequences of any person relying on the contents of this document for any other purpose.