Patents South Africa

If you have an idea, and wish to protect it, start by filing patent in South Africa.

A South African provisional patent application reserves your rights to file patents (practically) worldwide for a period of 12 months. And, it only costs $199 through GlobalIPCo or $99 through Iptica. See our provisional patent drafting and filing guide. Once you have filed the SA provisional patent, you can market, sell and tell people about your invention (without requiring them to sign confidentialities). Tailore your own NDA for free at SuperNDA.

Use the 12 months to speak to manufacturers and potential users. This invariably leads to improvements that you can include in the next patent application. But, in the interim, either keep these improvements secret or describe them in an additional South African provisional patent application before disclosing them publicly.

In 12 months’ time, you can extend your right to file patents internationally for a further 18 months by filing a PCT (international) patent application.

It is only after a total of 30 months from filing the first SA provisional patent that you need to file patents in each country (e.g. US, Australia, Europe) in which you wish to be able to enforce your patent. And, this typically costs between R25,000 and R45,000 per country to file. But, start building a bit of a “war chest” to cover the cost of arguing with the examiner in each country – which can cost between R25,000 and R70,000 over the following 1 to 3 years. GlobalIPCo files South African and Nigerian patents for only $399 and $600, respectively.

2 thoughts on “Patents South Africa”

  1. Gerrie says:

    I have submitted a provisional patent application in 1992 and obtained an official application number for it. However, I haven’t been able to convert it within the 12 month period due to time / financial constraints. Does this mean it has now expired and I have to re-submit? A cursory search of the CIPRO online service doesn’t reveal a similar application. I would now like to pursue this further as I believe there is a massive market for it, but finances is still a major constraint. What do you suggest?

    1. admin says:

      Hi Gerrie

      That provisional patent has expired. So, you will need to proceed as if you had not previously filed anything. Have you kept your invention secret in the meantime? If so, should the feature that you wish to patent still be “new” (tested worldwide, not just at the South African Patent Office (CIPC)), you will need to resubmit a provisional patent. But, before doing so, I suggest that you conduct an online international patent search.

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