In South Africa, the type of patent application is limited to inventions, and the term of protection is 20 years from the date of application. South Africa only conducts a formal examination of patents, not a system of substantive examination,The registrant does not determine the novelty or non-obviousness of the patent application, nor does it limit the scope of protection of a patent application that is too broad. The following is a detailed explanation of how to correctly apply for a South African invention patent and get a certificate of authorization as soon as possible.
South African Patent Application Process
(1) Submission path
Applicants can file South African patent applications through the Paris Convention route, the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) route, and directly to the South African Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
（2)Formal Review and Acceptance (Acceptance)
South African officials require applicants to submit all necessary documents to meet the formal requirements within 12 months of the date of entry. Since South African officials do not conduct substantive examination of patent applications, the application documents can be authorized after meeting the official form requirements. If all the required documents are submitted and the form requirements are met, the official may issue a notice of acceptance within a few months after the application is submitted.
(3) Active modification and delayed acceptance (Delay Acceptance)
The applicant may amend the application documents before or after the grant of the patent application. Because there are many restrictions and disadvantages in amending documents after authorization, South African lawyers generally suggest that applicants make active amendments before authorization. In order to allow the applicant sufficient time to prepare the voluntary amendment before authorization, the South African lawyer may submit a request for delay of acceptance at the same time as the application is submitted.
After the delay request is made, the acceptance date may be delayed until 1 year after the entry date of the application. Therefore, the applicant may, before the delayed acceptance date, make an active amendment request to the claim based on the opinions in the prior art and search report (the scope of protection of the claim may be expanded within the scope of the description). At the same time, because the official does not conduct substantive review, when the applicant is required to submit an active amendment, the reason and basis for the amendment (including any prior art references) must be provided.
(4) Authorized publication
Once a patent application is accepted, it is required to arrange for publication in a patent journal within three months from the date of acceptance. The date of publication in the journal is considered the grant date of the patent.
(5) Time to get the certificate
1. PCT Phase Enters South African National Phase: PCT International Open DayStarting from, the formal examination will take about 6 months, and the time for taking the certificate will be 18 months from the priority date.
2. The Paris Convention has entered the national phase of South Africa: starting from the date of application in South Africa, generally we can authorize it in 5 months and then get the certificate in 6 months through accelerated examination.