Register Patents

The registration process involves the following steps:

Step 1: Conduct a Search on Existing Patents


  • This search can be undertaken by the applicant/inventor or by the patent attorney/customer
    • This is to ensure that no existing patents are being infringed and that the invention is new/novel (S25 of Patent Act).
    • Although this initial search is not compulsory it is advisable.
    • The search for the South African Granted Patentscan be conducted in the CIPC Office or online by following the following link:
    • Please note that the requirement for novelty means that the invention must be new at the priority date of the invention anywhere in the world – not known through written or oral public disclosure or through use. Therefore a search for novelty must include the patents granted or any other related publications abroad on national and international level (such as European Patent Office, Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) published applications).

Step 2: Application to Register

  • The application for a patent can be done in one of three ways:
    • File a provisional application - This may be undertaken by the applicant with or without the assistance of an attorney.
    • File a complete application - This must be signed by a patent attorney.
    • File a PCT (Patent Co-operation Treaty) application (if applicable).
  • The following forms can be obtained free of charge from CIPC. They must be completed (in black ink or typewritten) and submitted to CIPC:
    • P1: "Application for a Patent and Acknowledgement of Receipt" and submitted in duplicate
    • P2: "Register of Patents", submitted in duplicate
    • P3: "Declaration of Power of Attorney", single copy
    • P6: "Provisional Specification", single copy
    • All documents should preferably be type-printed
  • If a Provisional Patent Application is submitted, the assistance of a patent attorney is not compulsory. It is important that the description of the invention is comprehensive and clear, and where applicable, drawings must be attached on A4 pages.
    • Forms P1, P2, P6 will be completed and P3 if there is a Power of Attorney involved.
    • The fee for a provisional application is R60.
  • In the case of a Provisional Patent Application, the office of the Patent Registrar will open a file and allocate the provisional patent application a unique number for the purpose of identification. The applicant is notified by the return of one of the copies of the P1 that was submitted.
    • Thereafter, a complete patent application must be submitted within 12 months from the date of filing the provisional patent application by the applicant or his agent.
    • During this time (i.e. the 12 month period) the inventor is able to work on his invention.
    • During this period the inventor/manufacturer can also "test-the-market" to assess the viability of the invention before incurring the costs involved in a complete patent application.
  • If a Complete Patent Application is being submitted, the assistance of a patent attorney is compulsory.
    • Forms P1, P2, P3 , P7, P8 and P26 (Power of Attorney) must be completed.
    • The fee for a complete application is R590.00.
    • Full detailed descriptions, claims and drawings (if applicable) on A4 pages should be included.
    • PCT Applications National Phase are regarded as complete applications, but instead of the P1 form, form P25 must be filed.

Step 3: Registration of a Patent

Once a complete patent application has been lodged, the formal examination is performed after 6 months.

  • If all the formalities have been complied with, the application is accepted. The applicant is then required to publish his/her patent in the Patents Journal, published monthly by CIPC in electronic format. The date of publication of the advertisement is deemed to be the date of registration.

Approximately 2 months after the publication in the Patent Journal, a registration certificate is issued to the patentee.


IP Domains

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