A patent is an official document that grants an inventor exclusive sole rights to an invention. Are you one of the people with great ideas and have invented something new, innovative and exclusive? The good news is there are ways that you can protect your invention.
Registration of a patent is truly a specialized field as it will involve a patent attorney. When you have something to patent, you will need to fill up prescribed forms for the provisional patent application, This will protect you for 12 months, then you can complete the form to complete the specifications, and there may be attachments needed for your invention, and this will give you a protection for 20 years and is subject to renewal fees. Apply for international patent protection designating South Africa and any other member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in terms of the PCT system.
To ensure that your idea is original, you can search on the patent database; this can be done by you or a patent lawyer – it’s important to note that a patent is protected in the country where it was originally registered.
However it is now allowed to be protected in more than one country, to add patent protection in a foreign country, as a South African, you can do so at the Paris convention, there are terms to be followed.
To file a provisional patent application you can do so yourself or can be assisted by CIPC – (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission), however, by law, to file a complete patent application requires a patent attorney.
However with all that being said, if you want to file a patent of an object you saw elsewhere but not known in South Africa, it is not possible, as, in terms of the SA Patent Act, there is a requirement of absolute novelty – absolute originality not known anywhere else in the world.
[ht_message mstyle=”success” title=”” show_icon=”” id=”” class=”” style=”” ]In South Africa, the first renewal fee is R130; however, the fee will increase as the patent gets old. There no way to protect a patent worldwide, but you can file separate applications in all the countries, or file a PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) application assigning country names in which you seek protection.[/ht_message]
[ht_message mstyle=”success” title=”” show_icon=”” id=”” class=”” style=”” ]To file a PCT cost R500 for a transmittal fee and R200 for preparation of each priority and the basic fee is R2620.00.[/ht_message]
A patent can be sold and it can also be licensed.
[ht_message mstyle=”alert” title=”” show_icon=”” id=”” class=”” style=”” ]The searching authorities for PCT may change on a monthly basis, however, an Austrian Patent Office charges R1022.00, an Austrian Patent Office charges R3150.00 and the European Patent Office charges R6040.00, a Patent Attorney is not needed to file a PCT – it is only when your application enters the national phase that a Patent Attorney will be needed.[/ht_message]