A patent provides the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention for the term of the patent. A patent is a limited property right the government gives inventors in exchange for their agreement to share details of their inventions with the public. Like any other property right, it may be sold, licensed, offered as security, or transferred. A patent is usually a right granted to anyone who invents any new, useful, and non-obvious process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter. Similar rights can also apply to industrial designs and plant breeding.

Effect of a Granted Patent
A patent, when granted, confers upon the patentee in South Africa, for the duration of the patent (as long as it is maintained in force by the payment of the renewal fees), the right to exclude other persons from:
– making,
– using,
– exercising,
– advertising or selling, or
– importing
the invention, so that he shall have and enjoy the whole profit and advantage accruing by reason of the invention. The grant of a patent also does not necessarily entitle a patentee to exploit the invention; it merely entitles him to exclude others from competing with him. The right to exploit depends upon whether or not prior rights are held by other parties.

How to Apply for a Patent
Our specialised patent attorneys are able to assist you throughout the patent application process, all the way through to patent registration. If you would like to get in touch with one of our patent attorneys for a discussion or consultation, please contact us. If you are not ready to make contact yet but would like more information about patent protection in general,download our brochure. Also, you may file a provisional patent application (but not a complete patent application!) without a patent attorney by contacting the Patent Office (CIPC) directly. However, do be aware that many self-filed provisional patent applications inadvertently limit the scope of protection which they provide and a self-filed provisional patent application will not in itself lead to a patent registration.

This article was prepared by Adams & Adams Patent Services.

The Adams & Adams patent attorneys are all qualified attorneys and patent agents, and all have engineering or science degrees. In addition, our professional assistants are fully qualified attorneys with technical degrees and are all in the process of qualifying as patent agents.

Our highly experienced team of experts and litigators is responsible for local patent and design filing; patent and design filings from abroad; patent and design filings in Africa; patent and design litigation; and patent and design recordal and renewals. The team is also able to assist inventors with the licensing of patents.

We proudly render a full range of patent legal services in a wide variety of technical fields such as biotechnology, chemical engineering, chemistry and pharmaceuticals, electrical and electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, plastics and polymer technology, computer technology and civil engineering.