About Patents

Our patent attorneys can help you protect your inventions.
Patent services include:

  • subject matter and inventor searches
  • drafting of provisional and complete patent specifications
  • filing of patent applications
  • filing of foreign patents
  • filing of Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) applications
  • infringement and validity opinions
  • associated litigation



You may publicise and commence the commercialisation and exploitation of your invention in South Africa and most other countries, from the day after your provisional patent application has been filed at the patent office. It is in fact important to commence with commercialisation as soon as possible so that you will be in a position to assess the potential of your invention before you have to make a decision on whether to file a complete South African patent application and possible foreign patent applications.

The filing of a patent application gives you no rights which you can enforce against others. In other words, you may not sue or even threaten others with an action for copying your invention as such rights only arise once a patent is granted on the application. A first-filed application does, however, serve to establish a priority date for patent applications which are based on it here or abroad, and what one filed within one year of the final application.


A complete patent application is examined by the Registrar of Patents a few months after its filing and, providing the application provides with all the formalities prescribed by the Patents Act, the application is accepted. The Registrar does not examine an application on the merits i.e. to determine whether or not the invention is, in fact, patentable. Normally the application is advertised in the Patent Journal within 3 months of the acceptance date and a patent is simultaneously granted. Thereafter you have patent rights that you can enforce against others. For more information please see the Memorandum in respect of Complete Patent Applications under the Forms section of this website.


The rules applying to foreign patents and applications differ from country to country and can be complex. It is insisted to get specialist advice when contemplating a patent application.

The information is, by its nature, brief and is not meant as a substitute for detailed legal advice. Further information can be provided upon request.


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