Tips to reduce the cost of South African patents

South African patents offer incredible value and should be a default selection during the PCT national phase. Here are some tips on how to reduce the cost of South African patents:

Delay amendments

Many applicants incur significant costs vetting South African patents and amending them prior to grant. This is generally not necessary. Firstly, if the patent has been drafted to conform with US or EU patent law, it is generally compliant with South African law. Further, since amendments that narrow the scope of the claims may be made at any stage, we generally suggest delaying effecting an amendment until just prior to instituting infringement proceedings. Since less than 0.05% of South African patents are enforced, following this approach will reduce vetting and amendment costs by 99.95%.

Retain reference numerals

Decades ago, South African Courts confirmed that reference numerals do not affect the scope of claims in a South African patent. Do not amend South African patent claims to remove reference numerals.

Pay all 17 renewals on filing

Instead of paying a large renewal fee every year, pay all 17 renewals “to term” on filing (Vicennial Renewal). This reduces the total renewal cost to US$285, where the instructor is a law firm and the South African patent was filed through GlobalIPCo / S&Z.

Use the GlobalIPCo online system

The GlobalIPCo system files +500 South African patents per month, representing about 50% of new South African patent applications. By automating the filing and prosecution process, GlobalIPCo is able to reduce the cost of South African national phase patents to:

Filing: US$399 (with further discounted pricing available to patent law firms)

Acceptance / publication: US$70

Courier: US$ 110 per parcel (provided that each parcel may include 4 patent certificates)

The above costs are all-inclusive, covering official fees.

Market SA as a “34 month” country

Although South Africa is generally regarded as a “31 month country”, the GlobalIPCo system does not charge extra to request the 3 month extension. Market South African national phase patents to clients during the 31-34 month phase, when clients are not distracted by other national phase filing options.

Also, consider requesting accelerated acceptance (at no additional cost), which reduces the time to grant of the patent to about 4 months.

File a SANi combination patent

Combine South African and Nigerian patents (SANi patent), which covers 44% of Sub-Saharan Africa GDP. S&Z’s SANi patent costs to law firms:

  • Filing to courier of patent certificates: $875
  • Pre-paying all 20 years of renewals: $875

About GlobalIPCo and S&Z

S&Z is the largest filer of South African patents, filing about 5,000 patents per year. GlobalIPCo creates online systems that automates filing and prosecution of patents, designs and trademarks to grant. Together, we streamline the process of securing South African, Nigerian and SANi patents, significantly lowering the patent cost to applicants.

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T +27 (0)11 483 1439
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