A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a
process that provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution
to a problem. The patent provides protection for the invention to the owner of the
patent. The protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years. Patent-protection
means that the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed or sold
without the owner’s consent.
Services of patents experts
In terms of the
South African Patents Act , individuals may file their own provisional patent
applications. It is however, advisable for applicants to seek the assistance of
the Patent Attorneys.
If a provisional patent application is filed and the invention is then made public,
the strength and breadth and scope of protection ultimately obtained will depend
on the wording and content of the specification, the broad definitions and detailed
description of the invention. The Patent Office takes precautions to maintain confidentiality
but cannot be held responsible for what occurs outside the office.
Patent Attorneys and Agents are familiar with international requirements and are
thus in a position to draft provisional specifications in an internationally acceptable
fashion, thus promoting protection both in South Africa and abroad.
South Africa is one of many countries that accepts the Patent Co-operation Treaty
(PCT). This Treaty allows an individual to file an international patent application,
along with the national patent application.
What is the lifespan of a patent?
A patent can last up to 20 years, provided that it is renewed annually from the
third year. It is important to pay an annual renewal fee to keep it in force. The
patent expires after 20 years from the date of application.
The patent journal
This is a journal that CIPC publishes on a monthly basis, and it contains information
for the different stages of the registration for Patents, Trademarks, Designs, Copyright
cinematograph films in South Africa.This Patent Journal is obtainable from Government
Printers in Pretoria.
The Patent Office cannot accept any responsibility for the loss of rights arising
if the invention becomes public and is copied and the provisional specifications
have not been properly drafted.