How to patent intellectual property in SA

CIPRO CEO clarifies how intellectual material can be patented

July 14, 2009

CIPRO CEO clarifies how intellectual material can be patented

Protecting your intellectual property is one of the key focus points of the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO).

“CIPRO is there to lend a hand where local business ideas need protection,” explains Keith Sendwe, CEO of CIPRO. “We have assisted countless entrepreneurs to protect their intellectual property and turn their business ideas into viable business opportunities.”

Unfortunately few know how to go about turning an idea into a business while retaining the right to the uniqueness of the idea, says Sendwe. “CIPRO therefore wants to help you to not only protect your idea, but to make money from it – even more importantly, to prevent others from using your idea for financial gain.”

Sendwe explains that a design is a unique shape, form, appearance, pattern and configuration of a product or article. “This can be registered as either an aesthetic or a functional design. It can for example be a design for a new car or even shoes.”

The second domain of intellectual property is a trade mark. “This is a brand name, a slogan or a logo that identifies the services or products of one person while distinguishing it from that of another. Well-known South African trade marks include Nando’s, Mrs Balls Chutney, Kreepy Krauly and many others.”

Thirdly, there is copyright, which is an exclusive right granted by law to the author of literacy, artistical or musical work. “This means if you write a song and you have copyright on it, it cannot be reproduced without your permission. And then you may be entitled to royalties,” adds Sendwe.

Patents form the last domain of intellectual property. “A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. This can range from a wheelbarrow to an automobile to a Kreepy Krauly,” explains Sendwe.

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