If you are an owner of an invention, it is of the utmost importance to file and register your patent to prevent others from copying your invention, importing your invention, disposing of your invention, or using your invention, or manufacturing and trading with your invention without your knowledge or approval. All patent registrations should be filed at the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission in South Africa to ensure the utmost exclusivity for your invention. The registration process involves quite a few procedures such as:
- An inventor has to go to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission’s offices of the Patents Registrar, which is based in Pretoria.
- But before doing so, the applicant should conduct a thorough search to confirm that his invention is new.
- The owner of the invention then has to complete forms to apply for a temporary/provisional patent namely P1, P2, P3 as well as P6 which will be valid for a period of twelve months with the option to extent for a further three months by requesting an extension from the Registrar of Patents. Or he or she may get a patent attorney to apply for a permanent/complete patent.
- The applicable fee for a temporary application is sixty rand which is payable at the offices of the Patents Registrar and R590 is payable for a permanent application.
- When your temporary application is about to expire, forms P1,P2,P3,P6,P7,P8 as well as P26 has to be completed and signed by an attorney who specialised in patents.
Registering a Patent
Once you receive a patent then you can have the peace of mind knowing that no one can trade with your product for up to twenty years without your approval by means of a legal binding contract or license. An owner of an invention who has patent protection in place can however allow others to trade with the invention by means of a legal agreement and monthly royalty payment agreement to the owner, based on sales of the invention.
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