International patent

A PCT / International patent is generally filed 12 months after filing your South African provisional patent application. It can cost as little as R34,000 and reserves your right to file patents in nearly all countries of the world for a further 18 months, i.e. a total of 30 months from the date of filing your provisional patent.

To save costs, consider filing the international patent in the name of an individual who is both a South African resident and national, as they are entitled to substantial rebates. Filing the patent in the name of a company increases the cost from approx. R34,000 to as much as R75,000.

The international patent is not a “worldwide patent”. By the 30 month deadline, you will need to file “national phase” patents in each country where you seek patent protection. Don’t get carried away. A basket of 4 to 6 national phase patents should be sufficient.

Not only does an international patent extend your right to file foreign patents. It also provides you with a comprehensive search report within 4 months of filing. Don’t ignore this report. Since, it is significantly cheaper to amend the international patent during the following 2 month period (at a cost of approximately R4,000 to R6,000) than to effect the same amendment after filing national phase patents.

Should you wish to discuss the most appropriate, affordable patent strategy, give us a call and one of our patent attorneys will be glad to assist.

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