Patents – evolution of the unconventional to mainstream

Only a few years back, the majority of patent applicants opted for the “traditional” patent options – visiting a patent attorney and letting the patent firm deal with everything downstream. From 2000, “meetings” moved online, and increasingly, what was regarded as “niche” became mainstream.

To remain relevant, patent law firms must embrace online products. So far in 2023:
– 40% of South African complete patents were filed online; and
– more than 50% of South African provisional patents are DIY provisional patents.

This is just a snapshot of the global trend. Soon, “Traditional” patent offerings will cater to the minority.

The market is evolving towards online systems and collaboration between traditional law firms and online system developers.

GlobalIPCo works with law firms to create online IP products and provide access to the growing online market (with a particular focus on the Chinese market). Communication is easy – GlobalIPCo’s lead software developer is a qualified patent attorney with 8 years experience in the patent field.

During the period 1 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2022, our firm’s (S&Z) partnership with GlobalIPCo increased our South African patent filings 1,548% to +4,500 patents per year.

At the end of 2022, GlobalIPCo created an open collaboration of African law firms (S&Z, Crown & Shields (Nigeria), Samuriwo (ARIPO) and Atanga (OAPI)) and this year it will extend its network to Spain, Germany and the UK. A collaborative relationship with a dynamic US patent firm would be welcomed.

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