Convention Patent


Convention application refers to a patent application filed in accordance with the terms of an international patent treaty like the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

“We took nothing from anybody. We gave a great deal to the world. The only thing keeping us alive is our brilliance. The only thing that keeps our brilliance alive is our patents.” ― Edwin Land

Convention Patent Applications

  1. The deadline for filing a convention patent application in South Africa is 12 months from the earliest priority date. This period is extendable by an additional 3 months (i.e. up to 15 months from the priority date) upon application to the Registrar of Patents and upon payment of an additional fee.


  2. The following minimum requirements must be met to secure a valid filing date in respect of a convention patent application:
  • Full name(s) and registered address(es) of each applicant
  • Full name(s) and residential address(es) of each inventor
  • Title of the invention
  • Priority application number(s), country and date(s)


  1. The following additional documents are required to complete the filing requirements of a convention patent application:
Within 14 days of the national filing date i. Complete patent specification, claims and drawings.
Within 3 months of the national filing date ii. English translation of the complete patent specification, claims and drawings, if the application was not filed in English.
Within 6 months of the national filing date (this period is extendable upon application to the Registrar)  
Before acceptance (these documents must be filed in time for acceptance within 18 months, or on application to the Registrar, 21 months from the national filing date) iii. Form P3*, Declaration and Power of Attorney – signed by the applicant.
  iv. Form P26*, Statement on the use of indigenous biological resource, genetic resource, traditional knowledge or use – signed by the applicant.
  v. A certified copy of each priority document. If the priority document is not in English, a certified English translation is required.
  vi. Assignment of Invention* –signed by each inventor who is not an applicant.
  vii. Abstract of the invention.
  viii. Assignment of Priority Rights*, if the applicant is not the applicant in respect of the priority application
  * No legalization of formal documents is required
  1. South Africa has a so-called “deposit system” for patents – i.e. patent applications do not undergo formal examination for the substantive patentability requirements of inventions.


  2. There is no provision for opposition to the registration of a patent application.


  3. No excess claim fees, page fees or grant fees are payable in South Africa.


  4. Patents in South Africa have a maximum duration of 20 years from the national filing date, subject to the payment of annual renewal fees from the third year after the national filing date.


  5. South Africa is a member of the Paris Convention and of the PCT.

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