PCT National Phase PatentApplications
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international patent law treaty, concluded in 1970.
“An invention is something that was impossible up to then ― that’s why governments grant patents.” ― Robert A. Heinlein
PCT National Phase Patent Applications
- 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.
- 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)
- 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|
- 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.
- There is no provision for opposition to the registration of a patent application.
- No excess claim fees, page fees or grant fees are payable in South Africa.
- 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.
- South Africa is a member of the Paris Convention and of the PCT.