Patents are the most effective tool to obtain a monopoly. By filing patents in your trading countries, you will prevent others from making, importing, selling, advertising and using an infringing product in those countries. Your patents will effectively neutralise them – for others to be permitted to trade in those countries, they would need to secure a licence in respect of your patents.

Patents need not be expensive:

  • Always start the process by conducting an international online patents search.
  • Thereafter, prepare and file a South African provisional patent for $199 through GlobalIPCo or for $99 through Iptica. This will enable you to start telling people about your invention, and marketing and selling your product without the need for confidentiality agreements. The provisional patent effectively reserves your right to file patents worldwide for a period of 12 months. Tailor your own NDA for free at SuperNDA. See our easy DIY provisional patent drafting and filing guide.
  • In 12 months time, file a PCT / international patent application. This postpones the deadline for filing patents in 148 countries for a further 18 months. Improvements that you have made to the product during the 12 months from filing the South African provisional patent can be included in the PCT patent.
  • In 30 months time, file patents in countries where you intend to trade. See our foreign patents costs and our African patents costs. GlobalIPCo files national phase patents in  South Africa and Nigeria for $399 and $600, respectively.

After filing, foreign patents typically take between 12 and 30 months to be granted.

However, if you intend to secure patents in South Africa only, you could short-circuit the above process and merely file a South African complete patent.

Since your patent rights will only become enforceable within a few years, it is advisable in the interim to file design registrations. This will prevent copycats from making quick and cheap knock-offs. Designs are much cheaper than patents and can be enforced within a few months of filing.

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    Save up to 70% on patent renewal fees / annuities by paying them online

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