Reducing Patent, Design, Trademark Costs

Take back control over your intellectual property management and reduce your registration and maintenance costs significantly.

Patent costs

Patenting does not need to be expensive. Many of the services that you pay a patent attorney to perform can easily be performed by you using our tools, DIY drafting and filing guide, the Iptica system and the GlobalIPCo system.

Patent costs can be categorized as follows:

  • Searching costs
  • Provisional patent costs
  • PCT costs
  • National phase / foreign patent filing costs
  • National phase / foreign patent prosecution costs
  • Design registration costs
  • Renewal costs
  • Commercialisation costs

Searching costs

Searches are useful to direct development efforts and intellectual property expenditure. Most patent databases used by patent attorneys are freely available on the internet, and there is no reason why you / a researcher within your company cannot conduct a proper patent novelty search. Search methodology is quick and easy to learn … try our Search Manual.

Conducting your own patent search saves you unnecessary:

  • R&D expenditure and time trying to perfect an invention that is not patentable
  • expenditure to draft and file a provisional patent application for an invention that is not “novel”
  • expenditure to amend patent specifications in response to prior art that subsequently comes to light.

As a further benefit, reviewing the search results may broaden your “field of vision” and trigger further modifications, improvements or additions to your invention.

The benefits of conducting a comprehensive search are significant … and free!

Provisional patent costs

Anyone may file provisional patent applications. Provisional patent applications are not technical documents and need only “fully describe the invention”. Try your hand at drafting your own provisional patent application using the IdeaNav Patent Tool and Patent Template, and reduce the cost of filing your provisional to $99 using the Iptica system or to $199 using the GlobalIPCo system.

PCT Costs

You can significantly reduce the cost of filing PCT / international patent applications by:

  • Filing the application in the name of a South African national and resident (just beware or the potential tax consequences)
  • Selecting cheaper search authorities
  • Comparing patent law firm charges

See our PCT Toolkit.

National phase / foreign patent filing costs

South Africa

South African National Phase patent applications must be filed by a patent attorney. The most affordable option is to instruct filing of a South African national phase patent online via GlobalIPCo for only $399.

We suggest not vetting and amending South African national phase patent applications on filing, as prosecution of other national phase applications will typically necessitate further amendments. Consider amending the South African national phase application only after all other applications have been prosecuted to grant.


There is not much that one can do to reduce the cost of filing foreign patents apart from ensuring that your local patent firm instructs the cheapest competent foreign law firm available. Select affordable foreign agents using our foreign patent costing tool.

Over the past decade the “principle of reciprocity” has encouraged law firms to select foreign agents on the basis of “reciprocated instructions” rather than price. Become actively involved in selecting the foreign patent firm to ensure that the appointment is based solely on considerations of cost and competence.

National phase / foreign patent prosecution costs

The same considerations described in “Foreign Patent Filing Costs โ€“ Foreign” above apply here.

Ensure that you select a competent firm with reasonable rates.

Design costs

Design registration costs

Anyone may file South African design applications. The application is simple to complete. Try your hand at filing your own design using the IdeaNav Design Tool and file the design through GlobalIPCo for only $299.

Trademark costs

Trademark registration costs can easily run away from you. Before you know it, you are filing trademarks for your word mark, logo, pay-off line, all of these in various countries and in respect of numerous classes. We recommend filing a single word mark in the single class in which your product falls and only in the countries in which you are currently trading / intend to trade in the short term. Generally, you can add registrations to your trademark portfolio as and when they are needed.

Our charges to: conduct a South African trademark registrability search is R2,500 plus vat; and file a South African trademark is R4,090 plus vat. Or, file trademarks yourself through the GlobalIPCo system.

Renewal costs

Save up to 70% on your renewal costs by using our Online Patent Renewal Tool. All you need is your patent number. We extract your patent data. See our table of worldwide renewal fees.

Migrating renewals from your existing service provider is easy – just instruct them not to process the renewal.

Commercialisation costs

During the development phase and prior to filing your provisional patent application, ensure that all disclosures are made on a confidential basis. Select a suitable free confidentiality undertaking from our series of Confidentiality Templates. Or, create your own NDA using Iptica’s SuperNDA.

Also streamline your licensing negotiations using the IdeaNav Licensing Term Sheet. This will reduce your legal costs and ensure that all the licensing risks have been considered and dealt with.

Latest Specials
  • Online SA trademark filing

    Only $199

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  • Trademark search

    R2,500 + vat

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  • EU Design Registration

    Only $625

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  • Save up to 70% on renewal fees

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

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  • Online SA design filing

    Only $299

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  • Register a Trademark in South Africa

    R4,090 + vat

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  • File provisional patent

    Only $199

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  • Patent Pending Number

    Only $199

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Get started with the patent process

Get in touch

Contact us

Intangible Consulting (Pty) Ltd
9 Kruger St
South Africa

T +27 (0)11 483 1439
T +27 (0)11 483 3128 (alt.)