African Country Page

TRADEMARK

Opposition Term

90 days

First Renewal Term

10 Years

Subsequent Renewal Term

10 Years

Registration Term

10 Years

  • In South Africa, the trademark applications must be filed with the Department of Trade and Industry Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
  • Multi-class trademark applications are not acceptable; therefore a separate application has to be filed for each class.
  • The third parties can file opposition actions against a trademark application within (03) months following its publication in the trademarks journal.
  • In South Africa, the registered trademarks have a validity of ten (10) years from the date of application, which can be further renewed indefinitely for periods of ten (10) years.
  • The request for a getting a trademark renewed can be filed as early as six (06) months before the expiration date.

PATENT

  • South Africa is a member of the Paris Convention and Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
  • The Patents Act No. 57 of 1978 (last amended in 2002) deals with the mechanism of patent protection in South Africa.
  • Process Patent and Product Patent are the two types of patents that can be protected in South Africa. 
  • In South Africa, any invention that satisfies the conditions of novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability, subjects to patentability.
  • The types of patent applications in South Africa include Non-Convention Application, Convention Application, PCT National Phase Application, Divisional Application, and Patent of Addition.
  • Utility Model Protection is available under the patent law.
  • The time-period for the PCT National Phase Filing is thirty-one (31) months.
  • Opposition against a patent application can be raised at the post-grant stage. An opposition can be raised any time after the date of publication of the patent grant until the protection term. 
  • The patent of invention lasts for twenty (20) years in South Africa. The protection term for a utility model patent is ten (10) years.
  • The time frame for payment of Annuities before the due date is six (06) months

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

  • South Africa is a member of the Paris Convention. 
  • The South African Designs Act No. 195 of 1993 deals with the mechanism of registration of industrial designs. 
  • The types of industrial design applications in South Africa include Non-Convention Application and Convention Application. 
  • Utility model protection is provided under industrial design protection in South Africa (Classified as functional designs). 
  • Opposition against an industrial design application can't be raised in South Africa.
  • The total duration of an aesthetic design registration is fifteen (15) years from the priority date, and that of a functional design registration is ten (10) years. The duration term is calculated from the date of application, or if claimed, either the priority date or release date. The renewal fee is payable at the expiration of the third year from the date of application and annually thereafter.
  • There is a grace period of six (06) months to renew an industrial design in South Africa. 

COPYRIGHT

  • South Africa is a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. 
  • The Copyright Act 98 of 1978 (last amended in 1992) deals with the mechanism of copyright protection in South Africa.
  • In South Africa, the authors of creative works are entitled to copyright protection upon creation and without any formality. 
  • For literary, musical, and artistic works, other than photographs, the copyright protection term lasts for the lifetime of the author plus fifty (50) years following his death.
  • For cinematography films, photographs, computer programs, the copyright protection term lasts for fifty (50) years from publication, or creation, if the work is unpublished.