Patent costs in Africa

Patentees are often surprised at how cheap and simple it is to file PCT national phase patents in Africa. Using GlobalIPCo, you can cover more than South Africa and Nigeria at a low cost – $399 for South Africa and $600 for Nigeria.

For the most “bang for your buck” in Africa, we suggest filing the following patents:

  • a South African patent;
  • a Nigerian patent;
  • an ARIPO regional patent (including Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe); and
  • an OAPI regional patent (including Benin, Burkino Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo);


ARIPO, OAPI, Nigeria and South Africa patent

Why chose these national phase patents?

Firstly, both Nigeria and South Africa are non-examining countries – their patent offices do not examine the patent applications for novelty and inventiveness. There is, therefore, little to no patent prosecution costs. The cost for a South African national phase patent includes all costs up to and including grant.

Secondly, all the above patents may be filed and prosecuted in English. Even though OAPI covers most francophone countries, the OAPI system accepts and processes patents in both French and English.

Thirdly, none of the above patent applications require documents to be legalised / apostilled – if you have ever tried securing rights in Angola, you will appreciate the significance of this.

Fourthly, South Africa is the largest economy in Africa; Nigeria is the next powerhouse of Africa; ARIPO includes the main emerging economies in Southern Africa; and OAPI provides a good coverage of northern Africa.

Tips to reduce your African patent costs further:

  • refrain from using multiple dependent claims;
  • try not to exceed 10 claims;
  • try to limit the length of your patent to 10 pages; and
  • consider amending your patent if it exceeds 10 claims and pages.
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