Patenting a product made of a new material

Generally, you cannot patent: An [existing product] made of [a new material] You can only patent something that is “new” and “inventive”. “Inventive” means that an expert in the field would not consider your substitution of material to be obvious. The best way to explain this is by way of example: Let’s assume that belt … Read more

July 11th, 2020

Patent benefits

You cannot patent “benefits”. A valid product patent needs a “new” and “inventive” feature. In respect of each benefit, ask: What feature did I add to yield that benefit Then query: is that added feature “new”? is adding that feature “inventive” (i.e. not obvious to an expert)? For example: Benefit New feature New? Inventive? Modular … Read more

July 4th, 2020

Job position for a CAD draftsman / product designer

We have a full-time employment position available for: a CAD draftsman; a product designer / industrial designer; or a graphic designer / logo designer with 3D CAD skills. The job entails creating 3D CAD models for clients’ inventions, and generating patent and design drawings from these models. About us We are primarily a patent and … Read more

June 30th, 2020

Register Trade Mark Online with TM Direct

You can now register South African trade marks quickly and affordably online using TM Direct – an online trade mark registration system operated by S&Z Trade Mark Attorneys. The trade mark process To register a South African trade mark using TM Direct: (optional) Conduct a free identical trade mark on the TM Direct webpage. Register … Read more

June 28th, 2020

Can general lawyers file trademarks?

Typically, general lawyers used to refer trademark applications to intellectual property law firms. The reason for this was not because advising on trademarks is difficult – sufficiently to understand trademarks in order to advise thereon is relatively simple, and can be learnt within a couple of hours. General lawyers’ discomfort in extending their services to … Read more

June 21st, 2020

Patenting the absence of a feature

You cannot patent: An [existing product] not including [something that has been removed] Product patents only protect “new features” you are adding. By focussing on removal of a feature, you’re going in the opposite direction. It may be that the existing product was never offered with the superfluous feature removed therefrom. But, arguing that absence … Read more

June 14th, 2020

Patenting a product powered by a new power source

Many inventors try to patent a new power source for electronic products, e.g. a solar powered kettle. To be patentable, your new power source must be “new” and “inventive”. Let’s first consider whether the general concept is “new”: some solar energy farms feed power into the grid, so every kettle that is plugged into the … Read more

June 2nd, 2020

Register Corona Virus PPE Patent

Protect your Corona Virus face mask, face shield and hand sanitiser by registering patents. But, be clever about how you do it. Covid-19 patents The problem with patents for Corona Virus PPE equipment is that the patent will only become legally enforceable in about 3-4 years from now – considering that there should be a … Read more

May 28th, 2020

Patenting a new use for an existing product

You cannot patent: An [existing product] for [doing something new] The reason is that product patents focus on “new features” you are adding. And, nothing after “for” is introducing a new feature – it is introducing a new application / use. The simple rule when considering whether your product is “new” (and, therefore, patentable) is … Read more

May 24th, 2020

Protect your Brand with TM Direct

To protect your brand, you should register a South African trademark. An option is to register a trademark online with TM Direct – a trademark registration system operated by S&Z Trademark Attorneys. How to file a trademark using TM Direct TM Direct is due to be released during June 2020. Visit TM Direct, and click … Read more

May 16th, 2020

How do I trademark my invention?

Trademarks protect BRANDS under which you trade (e.g. PUMA, KPMG), whereas Patents protect INVENTIONS. You cannot protect your invention by registering a trademark. Patent your invention To protect your invention, your: product must include a new and inventive feature method must include a new and inventive step Merely automating a method that has previously been … Read more

May 8th, 2020

Trade Mark Logo

Most companies protect their brand by trade mark registering their name and logo. Our tips when registering names and logos are to: type the name in capital letters, as your trade mark rights will not be case-sensitive; and submit the logo as a Black & White image, as your trade mark rights will extend to … Read more

April 30th, 2020

Top 10 Patent Fallacies

#1: I can sell an idea It’s nearly impossible to sell an “idea”. Typically, you can only sell the protection you’ve secured for your idea. That’s why most buyers wait for you to obtain a granted patent in an examining country before considering buying your patent / idea – this typically takes 4-5 years. Our … Read more

April 25th, 2020

South African trademark search

Before filing a South African trademark, conduct a trademark search through the South African Trademarks Office’s (CIPC’s) records. Why conduct a South African trademark search? You may have “created” your brand, but unless you conduct a trademark search, you are merely presuming that it’s new. You’re permitted to file a South African trademark without first … Read more

April 20th, 2020

Pat Pend

“Pat Pend” stands for “Patent Pending”. The “Pat. Pend.” mark on a product merely communicates to the public that a corresponding patent application has been filed. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be sued if you copy the product. It means that, in time (likely, a very long time), you MAY be sued if you … Read more

April 15th, 2020

Get started with the patent process

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