How to apply for a patent

Patenting is a process, but no matter where in the world you live, you start the process by applying for a provisional patent.

Generally, it makes no difference whether you file your provisional patent in the UK, CA, AU or South Africa. No matter where your provisional patent is filed, it gives the same right – the right to file corresponding complete patents in 177 countries for 12 months. In other words, a UK resident can choose whether to file his provisional patent in AU or the UK; the AU provisional patent extends the same rights to the UK applicant that a UK provisional patent would have done. So, file your provisional patent where it’s simplest and cheapest to do so.

Of all English-speaking countries, South Africa is the cheapest, easiest and best place to file a provisional patent. South African provisional patents can be filed online within a couple of minutes; the South African filing fee is the lowest worldwide; the South African patent office does not conduct any search or examination; and the South African patent office keeps your provisional patent secret – being prohibited by law from publishing it.

How to apply

  1. Prepare a document that fully describes your invention – see our tips and template.
  2. Complete the GlobalIPCo provisional patent online application form by adding the title, applicant and inventor details.
  3. Download the auto-completed application forms; sign, scan and upload them to GlobalIPCo.
  4. Pay $199 by credit card.

Within a day you will receive your patent application number / Patent Pending Number. You are now free to market and sell your product!


Next step?

In a year’s time, a patent attorney will need to convert your provisional patent document into a complete patent document (which includes claims). Either file this complete patent in each country in which you wish to secure patent rights, or file a PCT / international patent application. If you file a PCT patent application, you’ll still need to file national phase patents 18 months later. Read more

Worldwide Patent Costs

Latest Specials
  • Trademark search

    R2,500 + vat

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  • Patent Pending Number

    Only $199

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  • Online SA trademark filing

    Only $199

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  • Register a Trademark in South Africa

    R4,090 + vat

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  • Online SA design filing

    Only $299

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  • EU Design Registration

    Only $625

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  • Save up to 70% on renewal fees

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

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  • File provisional patent

    Only $199

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Get started with the patent process

Get in touch

Contact us

Intangible Consulting (Pty) Ltd
9 Kruger St
South Africa

T +27 (0)11 483 1439
T +27 (0)11 483 3128 (alt.)