Register a patent

1. Patent search ‐ to determine whether you have something patentable

Before registering a patent for an invention:

The search will highlight what can be patented.

2. South African provisional patent

A South African provisional patent reserves your right to file patents worldwide for a year. Use this year further to develop / manufacture your product and to receive feedback from the market. In a year's time you must decide whether to obtain a complete patent in South Africa only, or to extend your "reservation" to file patents in 152 countries for a further 18 months.

The provisional patent does not become "granted". It is not a "patent" and cannot be enforced against third parties. Filing a provisional patent merely permits you to disclose your invention publicly and to file corresponding complete patents 12 months later.

South African provisional patents can easily be filed online through GlobalIPCo for $199.

3. Complete patent ‐ South African or PCT

Within 12 months of filing a provisional patent, you will need to either:

The PCT patent extends your right to file patents in 152 countries (including South Africa) for a further 18 months (i.e. up to 30 months from the date of filing your provisional patent). During this period, you will receive an official search report and examination report from a recognized patent office. These reports are of great value to potential investors.

If a PCT patent has been filed, you will need to file a national phase patent in each country you wish to secure patent rights. For example, should you wish to obtain patent rights in the US, you will need to file a US national phase patent. A South African national phase patent costs US$585.

4. Renewal

An annual renewal fee is payable to keep most patents in force for its 20 year term. Use our online renewal system to save on patent renewal costs.

(Updated 2024)

Articles: Patent issues