patents

Patent Protection in Africa

Smit & Van Wyk, Inc. Intellectual Property Attorneys specialize in the registration and protection of patents, PCT and designs in most African Countries, OAPI and ARIPO. It is important to note that patents are territorial rights – a patent granted in a certain Country can ONLY be enforced in that Country.

Advantages

Someone else may come up with your idea independently and may beat you to the market. However, if you had filed an earlier patent application, which eventually proceeds to a granted patent, you may stop your competitors from exploiting your invention – your date is the earliest and thus the patent rights accrue to you. Even if a competitor starts exploiting an invention which is covered by your patent, between the date of filing your South African provisional patent application and the date that a patent is eventually granted, you may be able to take action against such competitors once the patent is granted.

Patent Duration

ARIPO
In each designated ARIPO State:
20 years from the filing date. Renewed annually from the 1st anniversary of the filing date.

OAPI
20 Years from the filing date. Rewened annually from the 1st anniversary of the filing date.

Designs Duration

ARIPO
In each designated ARIPO State:
25 years from the date of the application. Renewed annually from the date of the last application .

OAPI
15 years from the date of the application. Rewened every 5 years from the date of the last application.

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