Frequently Asked Questions
What is the title of an invention?
The title of invention for a patent should appear as the heading on the first page of the specification. Although a title may have up to 500 characters, the title must be as short and specific as possible...

What is an IPC classification?
The technical content of patent documents is classified according to the International Patent Classification (IPC).

What is a PCT application?
An application in terms of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of designated countries by filing one single international patent application.

What is an agent?
An agent is an external CIPC customer formally registered as an employee of a registered patent or trade mark attorney firm.

Agent No – the number is generated by Ptolemy and appears in field 74 on the Patent Register Page together with the agent name and address

What is a patent number?
A patent number is a patent application number given by the South African Patent Office upon lodgement

What is a reference number?
The reference number of a patent application given by the agents

What is an applicant/patentee?
An applicant/patentee is the inventor or a natural or legal person authorised by him/her, who filed the patent application, or to whom a patent was granted

What is an inventor?  
The Inventor is the person(s) who appears on the patent application as the inventor. The Inventor can contain a list of names of persons. The Inventor can also be the Applicant.

What is a patent status?
It is the status of a patent - whether the patent is abandoned, accepted,advertised, application never completed, etc.

What is date of application?
The date on which the application has been lodged in the South African Patent Office

What is date of grant?
The date on which the patent has been sealed and granted

NB: In terms of section 42(b) of the Patent Act 1978, a patent shall be deemed to have been sealed and granted as from the date of publication. of the acceptance in the Patent Journal

What is a priority date?
In terms of the Paris Convention, an applicant has priority rights if he has already applied in a Convention country within a period of 12 months. For example: If one applies in the USA for a patent on the 20th of June 2004 and in SA on the 15th of Nov 2004 the applicant will have rights dating back to the 20th of June 2004 in SA, this means that a similar application lodged in SA in August by a different proprietor will be refused against the one lodged in November.
Priority rights could also be claimed from a provisional patent application lodged in the South African patent office within a period of 12 months, or within 15 months upon request of an extension by the registrar.

What is a cut off date?
Cut off date of the search.

What is a document?
Attachments that accompany a patent application. e.g. complete specification, claims, etc.

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