How do I patent my idea?

You have come up with a great idea. But, how do you patent it? Don’t just rush to a patent attorney to draft and file a South African provisional patent. Protect your invention properly by following our 5 easy steps:

  • Step 1: Identify the new feature of your invention. To do this, broaden your focus beyond your specific application and ignore the materials used. For examples of what not to do, see our article on common mistakes made.
  • Step 2: Conduct a patent search to check whether your new feature is in fact new. Tip: use our patent search software.
  • Step 3: Prototype your invention to: (i) confirm that it works; and (ii) develop further improvements for inclusion in your provisional patent – this will make your patent a lot more robust.

South Africa prototype

  • Step 4: File a South African provisional patent. This will reserve your right to file corresponding patents in nearly every country in the world for a period of 12 months. Easily file South African provisional patents online through GlobalIPCo for $199 or through Iptica for $99. See our provisional patent drafting and filing guide. Note: a provisional patent does not give you enforceable rights. But, potential competitors are unlikely to invest in copying, marketing and distributing your invention knowing that you could exclude them from the market in 12-18 months.
  • Step 5: In 12 months time file a PCT patent to extend your right to file corresponding patents in 148 countries for a further 18 months. During the PCT phase, you will receive a search report from a recognised Patent Office, which report should carry much weight with potential investors / licensees.

Don’t feel rushed in to filing a patent. The more groundwork you do before filing a South African provisional patent, the better your patent will be. Steps 1-4 above should take only four weeks to complete.

Thereafter, we suggest that you:

  • Consider filing design applications to protect the shape of your product. GlobalIPCo files South African designs for only $299 and EU designs for Euro566; and
  • Carefully select the countries in which to file national phase patents.
Latest Specials
  • Online SA trademark filing

    Only $199

    Learn more
  • Save up to 70% on renewal fees

    Save up to 70% on patent renewal fees / annuities by paying them online

    Learn more
  • Online SA design filing

    Only $299

    Learn more
  • File provisional patent

    Only $199

    Learn more
  • Register a Trademark in South Africa

    R4,090 + vat

    Learn more
  • Trademark search

    R2,500 + vat

    Learn More
  • Patent Pending Number

    Only $199

    Learn more
  • EU Design Registration

    Only $625

    Learn more

Get started with the patent process

Get in touch

Contact us

Intangible Consulting (Pty) Ltd
9 Kruger St
Oaklands
Johannesburg
South Africa

T +27 (0)11 483 1439
T +27 (0)11 483 3128 (alt.)
info@ideanav.co.za