How to patent an idea in South Africa

To patent an idea in South Africa is surprisingly affordable and quick.

You can file a South African provisional patent application online for only $199 through GlobalIPCo or $99 through Iptica. Use our provisional patent drafting and filing guide.

See our article summarising patent costs.

Worldwide Patent Costs
(*Estimated costs)

After filing your provisional patent application, you can freely disclose your idea to anyone – start discussions with manufacturers, speak to potential funders, conduct market research, and sell some prototypes.

2 thoughts on “How to patent an idea in South Africa”

  1. Ashvir says:

    Good day, I have a design/product I would like to patent but would like to enquire as to if I patent it in South Africa, does that mean that the idea can be used and manufactured in other countries? Or how would I go about ensuring it cannot be used internationally?

    Thanks

    1. admin says:

      Hi Ashvir

      Patents are territorial. So, if you require patent protection in the US, you will need ultimately to file a patent in the US. But, to start, you need first to file a South African provisional patent. This will reserve your right to file patents in most countries for a period of 12 months. If you wish to extend this to 30 months, you must file a PCT / International patent by the first anniversary of filing your South African provisional patent. But, bear in mind that a PCT patent only reserves your right to file patents in most countries for a further 18 month period. It does not actually mature into an “international patent”. By the 30th month from filing your South African provisional patent, you will need to file “national phase” patents in the US, EU, SA and other countries in which you intend to obtain patent protection. The validity of these “national phase” patents will be tested as at the date of filing your original South African provisional patent.

      But, don’t worry too much about the 30 month delay in filing foreign patents. If someone in the US starts copying your idea a month after filing your SA provisional patent, you can immediately file a US patent without having to wait the full 12 / 30 months.

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