A patent is a powerful and important tool for protecting your inventions. A patent is your novel product or process.
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Patents Applications in South Africa Patent Filing Requirements: Translations in English: Any article 19 or article 34 amendments into English. Priority document into English. Copy of the international application as published (preferably electronic format); Priority Document - within 6 months of application; Any article 19 or article 34 Amendments; PCT Application Number and/or WO Publication Number; Details of applicant(s) (name, physical address and nationality); Details of inventor(s) (name, physical address and nationality); Power of Attorney Form P3 – within 6 months of application; Declaration Form P26 (Biological Use Declaration) within 6 months of application; Deed of Assignment (if applicable) – within 6 months of application
Note: No legalisation of documents required Introduction A new invention may be protected by a patent. In order to be patentable, an invention must be novel, inventive and capable of being used or applied in trade, industry or agriculture.
A valid patent gives the patent owner the right to exclude others from making, using, exercising, disposing or offering to dispose of, or importing the invention. A South African patent is granted without any guarantee of validity and may be revoked if grounds of invalidity exist. Duration of Patent A patent lasts for up to 20 years from the filing date. In order to keep a patent in force, annual renewal fees are payable from the 4th year onwards. A patent can not be extended beyond its full term.
Novelty Requirements Absolute novelty is required, i.e. the invention must be novel throughout the entire world. Novelty is destroyed by all matter which has been made available to the public anywhere by written or oral description, by use or in any other way before the priority date. Therefore, the inventor can destroy his own invention’s novelty if he publicly discloses it, prior to filing a patent application. Public disclosure includes secret use on a commercial scale in South Africa before the priority date. The following are not regarded as public disclosure: disclosure or use which was made without the inventor’s / assignee’s knowledge or consent; and working of the invention in South Africa, by way of reasonable technical trial or experiment, by the inventor or assignee.
Unpatentable Inventions The following are not patentable: a discovery; a scientific theory; a mathematical method; a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other aesthetic creation; a scheme, rule or method for performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business; a program for a computer; the presentation of information; an invention the publication or exploitation of which would generally be expected to encourage offensive or immoral behaviour; any variety of animal or plant or any essentially biological process for the production of animals or plants, not being a microbiological process or the product of such a process; a method of treatment of the animal or human body by surgery or therapy.
Foreign Patent Applications Patents are territorial in nature. This means that a patent application must be filed in each country/region where protection is sought. There are 2 options when filing a foreign patent application, namely: filing a PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) application or a convention application.
Should you require protection in other countries beyond South Africa – please contact us for assistance.
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