How to Register a Patent

How to Register a Patent


What is a Patent?

If you have invented a product or created a product that offers a new way of doing something or offers a solution to a particular problem, a patent grants you an exclusive right to the invention or process. A patent excludes other people or businesses from making use of the investion or process, which also includes disposing of, offering to dispose of or importing it. A patented product or process is protected for 20 years once registered.

Patent Application Process

Even though you can apply for a patent yourself, it is advisible to seek the assistance of a patent attorney. The Patent Co-operation Treaty allows an applicant to file a national or an international application.

If you would like to see what can or can’t be patented, you can refer to Section 25 of the Patent Act, Act 57 of 1978, which defines the scope of patentable inventions. If you would like to find out more about patent fees, you can click here. You can also download the necessary patent application forms here:

P1 Application for a patent and acknowledgement of receipt
P2 Register of patents
P3 Declaration and power of attorney
P6 Application or request to Registrar
P6 Provisional specification
P7 Complete specification
P8 Publication particulars and abstract
P25 Entry of International Application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty into South African National Phase and Acknowledgement of Receipt.
P26 Statement on the indigenous biological resource, genetic resource traditional knowledge or use.

If you would like to do some research into existing patents you can refer to The Patent Journal which is updated on a monthly basis.

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  • Derek Jonathan Gardiner

    Back at varsity my entrepreneurship lecturer suggested that we not bother with patents… instead release your product and make cash flow as soon as possible. He noted that the effort you put in to patent something in ZA is just too much work. Are the patent wars in ZA really at the point where we should be putting time and effort into patenting things?

    Also do South African patents now cater for software related solutions?