South African Patent Act 57 of 1978 Galgut & Galgut

 South African Patent Act 57 of 1978

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PATENTS ACT
NO. 57 OF 1978
[ASSENTED TO 26 APRIL, 1978]
[DATE OF COMMENCEMENT: 1 JANUARY, 1979]
(Unless otherwise indicated)
(English text signed by the State President)
as amended by
Patents Amendment Act, No. 14 of 1979
Patents Amendment Act, No. 67 of 1983
Patents Amendment Act, No. 44 of 1986
Patents Amendment Act, No. 76 of 1988
General Law Amendment Act, No. 49 of 1996
[with effect from 4 October, 1996]
Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act, No. 38 of 1997
Patents Amendment Act, No. 10 of 2001
Patents Amendment Act, No. 58 of 2002
GENERAL NOTE
In terms of s. 48 of Act No. 38 of 1997, the expression “South African Institute of
Patent Agents”, wherever it occurs, is substituted by the expression “South African
Institute of Intellectual Property Laws”.
ACT
To provide for the registration and granting of patents for inventions and for matters
connected therewith.
[Long title substituted by s. 49 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1.  Division of Act into Chapters
2. Definitions
3.  Application of Act
4.  State bound by patent
CHAPTER I
ADMINISTRATION
5.  Establishment of patent office
6.  Seal of patent office
7.  Registrar of patents
8.  Designation of commissioner of patents
9.  Agents only to act in matters in terms of this Act
CHAPTER II
THE REGISTRAR OF PATENTS AND THE PATENT JOURNAL
10.  Register of patents   11.  . . . . . .
12.  Inspection of register
13.  Registrar to furnish information from register on request
14. Patent Journal
CHAPTER III
POWERS AND DUTIES OF REGISTRAR AND COMMISSIONER
15.  Powers of registrar
16.  Exercise of discretionary power by registrar and commissioner
17.  General powers of commissioner
18.  Proceedings before commissioner
19.  Procedure in connection with proceedings before commissioner to be in
accordance with Supreme Court procedure
CHAPTER IV
PATENT AGENTS AND PATENT ATTORNEYS
20.  Qualifications and registration of patent agents and patent attorneys
21.  Patent Examination Board   22.  Privileges of attorneys
23.  Removal of name of patent agent or patent attorney from register and
suspension from practising as a patent attorney or patent agent
24.  Persons entitled to practise as patent agents and patent attorneys
CHAPTER V
APPLICATIONS FOR PATENTS
25.  Patentable inventions
26.  Prior knowledge or publication of invention excused in certain circumstances
27.  Who may apply for a patent
28.  Disputes as to rights in or to inventions or patents   29.  Joint ownership of applications
30.  Form of application for a patent
31. Claiming priority
32.  Contents of specification
33. Priority dates
34.  Examinations of applications and specifications
35.  Procedure if result of examination of application is adverse to applicant
36.  Power to refuse applications in particular cases
37.  Procedure in case of amendment of application or lodging of fresh application
38.  Circumstances in which complete specifications may be changed to
provisional specifications, and post-dating of applications
39.  Manner of obtaining and effect of patent of addition  40.  Lapsing of applications
41.  Disposal of specifications in lapsed applications
42.  Notice and publication of acceptance of complete specification
43.  Inspection by public
CHAPTER VA
INTERNATIONAL APPLICATIONS UNDER THE PATENT COOPERATION
TREATY
43A. Interpretation
43B.  Effect of international application designating Republic
43C.  Patent office as receiving, designated and elected Office
43D. National processing
43E.  Commencement of national phase
43F. Administration
CHAPTER VI
GRANT, DURATION AND EFFECT OF PATENTS
44.  Granting and sealing of patent   45.  Effect of patent
46.  Duration of patent
47.  Restoration of lapsed patent
48.  Rights of patentee of restored patent
49.  Joint ownership in patents
50.  Correction of clerical errors and amendment of documents
51.  Amendment of specification   52.  Rectification of register
CHAPTER VIII
LICENCES
53.  Licences of right
54.  Cancellation of endorsement on patent   55.  Compulsory licences in respect of dependent patents   56.  Compulsory licence in case of abuse of patent rights
57.  Termination of contracts relating to licences  58.  Effect of licence
CHAPTER IX
ASSIGNMENT, ATTACHMENT AND HYPOTHECATION OF PATENTS AND
APPLICATIONS FOR PATENTS
59.  Assignment and devolution of patents by operation of law
60.  Assignment, attachment and hypothecation of patent or application for patent
CHAPTER X
REVOCATING OF PATENTS
61.  Grounds for application for revocation of patent
62.  Patents comprising more than one invention
63.  After revocation on ground of fraud inventor may obtain patent in certain
circumstances
64.  Voluntary surrender of patent
CHAPTER XI
INFRINGEMENT
65.  Proceedings for infringement  66.  Restriction on recovery of damages for infringement
67.  Presumptions in relation to new substances
68.  Relief for infringement of partially valid specification
69.  Declaration as to non-infringement
69A.  Acts of non-infringement   70.  Remedy for groundless threats of infringement proceedings
71.  Special provisions as to vessels, aircraft and land vehicles of convention
countries
CHAPTER XII
EVIDENCE
72.  Register to be evidence
73.  Certificates of registrar to be prima facie evidence
74.  Certification of validity
CHAPTER XIII
APPEALS TO COMMISSIONER AND THE COURT
75.  Appeal from registrar to commissioner
76.  Appeal from the commissioner to the court
77.  Agreement to accept commissioner’s decision as final
CHAPTER XIV
ACQUISITION OF RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS AND PATENTS BY THE STATE
78.  Acquisition of invention or patent by State
79.  Assignment of certain patents to the State
80.  Minister may require inventions to be kept secret in certain circumstances
CHAPTER XV
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
81.  Penalties for making false entries in the register, or making, producing or
tendering false entries or copies
82.  Penalty for making false statements for the purpose of deceiving or
influencing the commissioner, the registrar or an officer
83.  Prohibition of trafficking in patents by officers or employees in patent offic
84.  Penalty for improper use of words “patent office”
85.  Penalties for certain false representations
CHAPTER XVI
MISCELLANEOUS
86.  Documents may be sent by post
87.  Address for service
88.  Calculation of periods of time
89.  Condonation or correction of irregularities in procedure
90.  Certain conditions excluded from contracts
91. Regulations  92.   93.   94.   95.  Repeal of laws   96.  Short title and commencement
Schedule Laws repealed
INTRODUCTORY
1.  Division of Act into Chapters.
This Act is divided into Chapters which relate to the following matters
respectively:—
CHAPTER I   Administration    (sections 5 to 9).
CHAPTER II   The Register of Patents and the Patent Journal
(sections 10 to 14).
CHAPTER III   Powers and Duties of Registrar and Commissioner
(sections 15 to 19).
CHAPTER IV   Patent Agents and Patent Attorneys
(sections 20 to 24).
CHAPTER V   Applications for Patents  (sections 25 to 43).
CHAPTER VA  International Applications under the Patent Cooperation
Treaty
(sections 43A to 43F).
CHAPTER VI   Grant, Duration and Effect of Patents
(sections 44 to 49).
CHAPTER VII  Corrections and Amendments
(sections 50 to 52).
CHAPTER VIII  Licences    (sections 53 to 58).
CHAPTER IX  Assignment, Attachment and Hypothecation of Patents
and Applications for Patents
(sections 59 and 60).
CHAPTER X   Revocation of Patents  (sections 61 to 64).
CHAPTER XI   Infringement    (sections 65 to 71).
CHAPTER XII  Evidence    (sections 72 to 74).
CHAPTER XIII  Appeals to Commissioner and the Court
(sections 75 to 77).
CHAPTER XIV  Acquisition of Rights to Inventions and Patents by the
State     (sections 78 to 80).
CHAPTER XV  Offences and Penalties  (sections 81 to 85).
CHAPTER XVI  Miscellaneous   (sections 86 to 96).
[S. 1 amended by s. 26 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
2.  Definitions.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates—
“agent”means, except in section 56 (2) (e), a patent agent or a patent
attorney mentioned in section 20 or an attorney mentioned in section 22;
“applicant”includes the legal representative of a deceased applicant or of
an applicant who is a person under legal disability;
“application in a convention country”means—
(a)  any application for a patent lodged in a convention country;   (b)  any application for a utility model lodged in a convention country; or  (c)  any application for an inventor’s certificate lodged in a convention
country in which applicants have the right to apply, at their option,
either for a patent or for an inventor’s certificate in respect of the
invention in question;
“commissioner” means a commissioner of patents designated in terms of
section 8;
“convention application”means an application for a patent made in the
Republic which claims priority from a relevant application in a convention
country;
“convention country”, in relation to any provision of this Act, means any
country, including any group of countries and any territory for whose
international relations another country isresponsible, which the President has
with a view to the fulfilment of any treaty, convention, arrangement or
engagement, by proclamation in the Gazette declared to be a convention
country for the purposes of such provision; and the expressions “convention
aircraft”, “convention land vehicle” and “convention vessel” have
corresponding meanings;
[Definition of “convention country” substituted by s. 27 (a) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
“court”, in relation to any matter, means the division of the Supreme Court of
South Africa having jurisdiction in respect of that matter;
“date of application”, in relation to an application for a patent, means the
date referred to in section 30 (5);
“invention”means an invention for which a patent may be granted under
section 25;
“journal”means the patent journal to be published in terms of section 14;
“law society”means a law society referred to in section 56 of the Attorneys
Act, 1979 (Act No. 53 of 1979);
[Definition of “law society” substituted by s. 1 of Act No. 49 of 1996.]
“Minister”means the Minister of Economic Affairs and Technology;
[Definition of “Minister” substituted by s. 1 of Act No. 76 of 1988.]
“patent”means a certificate in the prescribed form to the effect that a patent
for an invention has been granted in the Republic;
“Patent Cooperation Treaty”means the Patent Cooperation Treaty of 19
June 1970 as amended from time to time and as acceded to by the Republic
and as in force in the Republic;
[Definition of “Patent Cooperation Treaty” inserted by s. 27 (c) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
“patented article”means any article in respect of which a patent has been
granted and is for the time being in force;
“patentee”means the person whose name is for the time being entered in
the register as the name of the grantee or proprietor of a patent;
“patent office”means the patent office established in terms of section 5;
“prescribed”means prescribed by regulation;
“priority date” . . . . . .
[Definition of “priority date” deleted by s. 27 (d) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
“register”means the register to be kept at the patent office in terms of
section 10;
“registrar”means the registrar of patents appointed in terms of section 7;
“regulation”means any regulation made under this Act;
“specification”means a provisional or a complete specification, as the
circumstances may require, mentioned in section 32 (1);
“the repealed law” means the Patents Act, 1952 (Act No. 37 of 1952);
“this Act”includes the regulations.
3.  Application of Act.
(1)  The provisions of this Act shall apply in respect of all patents, whether
granted before or after the date of commencement of this Act:
Provided that a patent granted on an application made before such
commencement shall—
(a)  not be revoked except upon any ground on which it could have
been revoked in terms of the repealed law;
(b)  not be subject to the provisions of section 44 (4) of this Act;  (c)  unless it is revoked in terms of paragraph (a), expire on the
date on which it would in terms of the repealed law have
expired if that law had not been repealed; and
(d)  be subject to the provisions of section 39 of the repealed law,
except that the term of any such patent shall not be extended
for a period exceeding five years, and provided further that, as
from 1 January 1979, no renewal fees shall be payable in
respect of such an extended period.
[Para. (d) substituted by s. 1 (1) of Act No. 14 of 1979 and by s. 28 of
Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(2)  All applications and proceedings commenced under the repealed law
shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of that law.
4.  State bound by patent.
A patent shall in all respects have the like effect against the State as it has
against a person: Provided that a Minister of State may use an invention for
public purposes on such conditions as may be agreed upon with the
patentee, or in default of agreement on such conditions as are determined by
the commissioner on application by or on behalf of such Minister and after
hearing the patentee.
CHAPTER I
ADMINISTRATION
5.  Establishment of patent office.
(1)  There shall be established in Pretoria an office to be called the patent
office.
(2)  The patent office established in terms of section 3 (1) of the repealed
law shall be deemed to have been established in terms of this section.
6.  Seal of patent office.
There shall be a seal of the patent office and the impression of the seal shall
be judicially noticed.
7.  Registrar of patents.
(1)  The Minister shall, subject to the laws governing the public service,
appoint a registrar of patents who shall exercise the powers and
perform the duties conferred or imposed upon the registrar by this Act
and who shall, subject to the directions of the Minister, have the chief
control of the patent office.
(2)  The registrar of patents appointed in terms of section 5 (1) (a) of the
repealed law shall be deemed to have been appointed registrar of
patents in terms of this section.
(3)  Any power conferred or duty imposed on the registrar by this Act may
be exercised or performed by the registrar personally or by an officer
in the public service acting under a delegation from or under the
control or direction of the registrar.
8.  Designation of commissioner of patents.
The Judge President of the Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme
Court of South Africa shall from time to time designate one or more judges or
acting judges of that Division as commissioner or commissioners of patents to
exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred or imposed upon the
commissioner by this Act.
9.  Agents only to act in matters in terms of this Act.
Subject to the provisions of sections 19 (3) and 22—
(a)  a party to any matter or proceedings in terms of this Act, other than
proceedings in any division of the Supreme Court of South Africa, may
be represented therein only by an agent and, in the case of
proceedings in a provincial division or the Appellate Division of the
Supreme Court, shall observe the ordinary procedure applicable to
such proceedings; and
(b)  no complete specification shall be accepted in terms of section 34 and
no application for an amendment of a complete specification shall be
allowed unless it has been signed by an agent.
CHAPTER II
THE REGISTRAR OF PATENTS AND THE PATENT JOURNAL
10.  Register of patents.
(1)  There shall be kept at the patent office a register in which shall be
entered—
(a)  the names and addresses of applicants for and grantees of
patents and of the inventors of the relevant inventions and the
classification of such patents according to subject-matter; and
(b)  such other particulars as may be prescribed.
(2)  Copies of all deeds, agreements, licences and other documents
affecting any patent or application for a patent, which are required to
be recorded in the register, shall be supplied to the registrar in the
prescribed manner for filing in the patent office.
(3)  The registrar shall maintain at the patent office such indices in relation
to particulars entered in the register in terms of subsection (1) as may
be prescribed.
(4)  The register kept in terms of section 6 (1) of the repealed law shall be
incorporated with and form part of the register to be kept under this
section, and all copies of deeds, agreements, licences and other
documents supplied to the registrar of patents in terms of section 6 (2)
of the repealed law shall be deemed to have been supplied to the
registrar in terms of subsection (2) of this section.
11.  . . . . . .
[S. 11 repealed by s. 29 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
12.  Inspection of register.
(1)  Subject to the provisions of this Act, the register or any document
lodged at the patent office shall, on payment of the prescribed fees, be
open to inspection by the public during the prescribed hours.
(2)  The right of inspection conferred by subsection (1) shall not include
the right to make copies of or takeextracts from the register or any
document referred to in that subsection by mechanical means:
Provided that the registrar may, where owing to circumstances beyond
his control copies of any documentrequired in terms of section 13
cannot be furnished without undue delay, permit any person to make
such copies by mechanical means.
13.  Registrar to furnish information from register on request.
The registrar shall, on the request of any person and on payment of the
prescribed fee, furnish copies of any documents lodged at the patent office
and open to public inspection, or particulars from the register, or furnish a
certificate in respect thereof.
14.  Patent Journal.
The registrar shall arrange for the periodical publication of a patent journal
which shall contain such details of the contents of all complete specifications
accepted as may be required to indicate the nature and purpose of the
relevant inventions, and any other matter which the registrar may consider
desirable, or which shall be published therein in terms of this Act.
CHAPTER III
POWERS AND DUTIES OF REGISTRAR AND COMMISSIONER
15.  Powers of registrar.
(1)  The registrar may, for the purposes of this Act—
(a)  receive evidence and determine whether and to what extent it
shall be given by affidavit or viva voce upon oath;
(b)  award costs against any part in any proceedings before him;
and
(c)  tax costs so awarded according to the prescribed tariff:
Provided that such award and taxation shall be subject to review by
the commissioner.
(2)  The payment of any costs so awarded and taxed and, if reviewed, as
so reviewed, may be enforced in the same manner as if they were
costs awarded by a judge of the Transvaal Provincial Division of the
Supreme Court of South Africa in civil proceedings.
16.  Exercise of discretionary power by registrar and commissioner.—
(1)  Whenever any discretionary power is conferred by this Act upon the
registrar or the commissioner, he shall not exercise that power
adversely to an applicant or an objector or other person who
according to the register appears to be an interested party, without (if
so required by the applicant or objector or other interested party within
a time fixed by the registrar or the commissioner, as the case may be)
giving that applicant or objector orinterested party an opportunity of
being heard.
(2)  Whenever by this Act any time is specified within which any act or
thing is to be done, the registrar or the commissioner, as the case may
be, may, save where it is otherwise expressly provided, extend the
time either before or after its expiry.
17.  General powers of commissioner.
(1)  Generally the commissioner shall in connection with any proceedings
before him have all such powers and jurisdiction as a single judge has
in a civil action before a provincial division of the Supreme Court of
South Africa having jurisdiction at the place where the proceedings
before the commissioner are held, including the appellate power
referred to in section 75.
(2)  (a)  The commissioner may also order that any party to
proceedings before him shall furnish security to the satisfaction
of the commissioner in respect of any costs which may be
awarded against such party in those proceedings, and may
refuse, until such security has been furnished, to permit such
proceedings to be continued.
(b)  The commissioner may have regard to the prospects of
success or the bona fides of any such party in considering
whether such security should be furnished.
(3)  Any costs awarded by the commissioner shall be taxed by the
registrar according to the prescribed tariff and any such taxation shall
be subject to review by the commissioner, and payment of such costs
as so taxed or, if reviewed, as so reviewed, may be enforced in the
same manner as if they were costs allowed by the Transvaal
Provincial Division of the Supreme Court of South Africa in civil
proceedings.
18.  Proceedings before commissioner.
(1)  Save as is otherwise provided in this Act, no tribunal other than the
commissioner shall have jurisdiction in the first instance to hear and
decide any proceedings, other than criminal proceedings, relating to
any matter under this Act.
(2)  Any proceedings which in terms of this Act are to be heard and
decided by the commissioner shall be heard and decided by him at
such place in Pretoria as may be designated by the registrar: Provided
that if it be made to appear to him that the proceedings may be more
conveniently or fitly heard and decided in another place, the
commissioner may hear and decide the proceedings in such other
place.
(3)  If, during the hearing of any proceedings before the commissioner,
any person wilfully interrupts the proceedings or wilfully insults the
commissioner or any person attending at such hearing, or otherwise
misbehaves himself at the hearing, the commissioner may make an
order committing that person to imprisonment for a period not
exceeding one month or order that person to pay a fine not exceeding
R100 or in default of payment thereof to be imprisoned for a period not
exceeding one month.
19.  Procedure in connection with proceedings before commissioner to be in
accordance with Supreme Court procedure.
(1)  Save as is otherwise provided in this Act, the procedure in connection
with any proceedings before the commissioner shall, as far as
practicable, be in accordance with the law governing procedure in civil
cases in the Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court of
South Africa, and in default thereof and where no relevant provision is
made in this Act, the commissioner shall act in such manner and on
such principles as he may deem best fitted to do substantial justice
and to give effect to and carry out the objects and provisions of this
Act.
(2)  Subject to the provisions of section 17 (3), any decision or order of the
commissioner, including any order as to costs, shall have the same
effect and shall for all purposes be deemed to be a decision or order
of the Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court.
(3)  A party to any proceedings before the commissioner may appear in
person or be represented thereat by—
(a) an advocate;
(b)  an agent; or    (c)  an attorney who has been granted the right of appearance in  the High Court in terms of section 4 of the Right of Appearance
in Courts Act, 1995 (Act No. 62 of 1995).
[Sub-s. (3) substituted by s. 1 of Act No. 10 of 2001.]
CHAPTER IV
PATENT AGENTS AND PATENT ATTORNEYS
20.  Qualifications and registration of patent agents and patent attorneys.
(1)  At any time within five years of the date of commencement of this Act,
any person residing in the Republic may on passing the prescribed
examination and on paying to the registrar the prescribed fee, be
registered by him as a patent agent.
(2)  Any person registered or deemed to be registered as a patent agent
under the repealed law at the commencement of this Act, shall be
deemed to have been registered as a patent agent under this Act, and
any person entitled at the commencement of this Act to be so
registered, shall be entitled to be so registered under this Act.
(3)  Any person entitled to practise as an attorney in the Republic may, on
passing the prescribed examination and on paying the prescribed fee
to the registrar, be registered by him as a patent attorney.
(4)  Any person registered or deemed to be registered as a patent agent
under this Act and entitled to practise as an attorney may, on
application and without the payment of any fee, be registered by the
registrar as a patent attorney.
21.  Patent Examination Board.
(1)  There is hereby established a board to be called the Patent
Examination Board.
(2)  The board shall consist of—
(a)  the registrar of patents or his nominee, as the Minister may
determine, who shall be chairman;
(b)  at least one person nominated by the law societies and
appointed by the Minister;
(c)  at least one full-time lecturer in law at a university, who shall
be appointed by the Minister;
(d)  at least two persons nominated by the South African Institute
of Intellectual Property Law and appointed by the Minister; and
(e)  such other persons as the Minister may appoint.
(3)  (a)  The board may—
(i)  prescribe the syllabuses of instruction for the
prescribed examination mentioned in section 20;
(ii)  prescribe the minimum qualifications required from
candidates for admission to such prescribed
examination;
(iii)  prescribe the period of academic and practical
instruction that any such candidate shall undergo;
(iv)  grant exemptions to such candidates in respect of all or
any of the prescribed courses of instruction by virtue of
examinations passed in connection with such courses
and set by any body recognized by the board;
(v)  grant recognition as the prescribed examination
mentioned in section 20, to any examination conducted
by a university;
(vi)  in co-operation with any body or person, arrange for the
training, instruction or testing of candidates mentioned
in subparagraph (ii);
(vii)  make disciplinary rules regarding the behaviour,
training and instruction of such candidates, and provide
for the enforcement thereof;
(viii)  appoint such examiners and moderators as it may
consider necessary; and
(ix)  do anything else that in its opinion is necessary or
convenient for giving effect to the provisions of this
section,
and the board shall—
(aa)  conduct the prescribed examination mentioned
in section 20; and
(bb)  issue certificates to persons who have passed
that prescribed examination.
(b)  Any matter prescribed by the board under paragraph (a) shall be
published by it in the journal.
(4)  The Minister may with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance
determine—
(a)  the fees payable by candidatesfor the examination mentioned
in section 20;
(b)  the fees payable to examiners and moderators; and   (c)  the remuneration and allowances payable to members
of the board.
(Date of commencement: 17 May, 1978.)
22.  Privileges of attorneys.
(1)  Any person entitled to practise asan attorney shall, during a period of
five years as from the date of commencement of this Act or such
further period not exceeding five years as the registrar, on application
made to him in the prescribed manner within the first-mentioned
period of five years, after consultation with the law society of which
such person is a member and the South African Institute of Intellectual
Property Law may, in his discretion, allow, have such rights of
representing a party to any matter or proceedings under this Act, as
such a person had under the repealed law of representing a party to
any corresponding matter or proceedings under the repealed law.
(2)  After the expiry of the said period, any such person shall have no such
right, unless he is registered as a patent agent or patent attorney
under section 20 of this Act.
23.  Removal of name  of  patent  agent or patent attorney from register and
suspension from practising as a patent attorney or patent agent.
(1)  (a)  The name of any person registered or deemed to be registered
as a patent agent or patent attorney under section 20 may,
after notice as prescribed to the South African Institute of
Intellectual Property Law and the law society concerned, if any,
which shall be entitled to be heard, be removed, at his own
request, by the registrar from the register of patent agents or
patent attorneys.
(b)  The name of any person registered or deemed to be registered
as a patent agent or patent attorney under section 20 may, on
the application of—
(i)  the registrar, after notice as prescribed to the South
African Institute of Intellectual Property Law and the law
society concerned, if any, which shall be entitled to be
heard; or
(ii)  the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law,
after notice as prescribed to the law society concerned,
if any, which shall be entitled to be heard,be removed
by the court from the register of patent agents or patent
attorneys by reason of such conduct as the court may
consider sufficient to justify such removal.
(2)  The name of a person registeredas a patent attorney under section
20 shall be removed from the register of patent attorneys by the
registrar if and as long as his name is removed from the roll of
attorneys.
(3)  A person registered as a patentattorney under section 20 shall be
deemed to be suspended from practising as patent attorney if and as
long as he is suspended from practising as an attorney.
(4)  The court may on the application of—
(a)  the registrar, after notice as prescribed to the South African
Institute of Intellectual Property Law and the law society
concerned, if any, which shall be entitled to be heard; or
(b)  the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law, after
notice as prescribed to the law society concerned, if any, which
shall be entitled to be heard,
suspend for a specified period any person registered or deemed to be
registered as a patent agent or patent attorney under section 20, from
practising as a patent agent or patent attorney, if the court is satisfied
that such person is not a fit and proper person to continue to practise
as a patent agent or patent attorney, as the case may be.
(5)  If in any proceedings in terms of subsection (1) (b) or (4) the court is
satisfied that the relevant conduct of the patent agent or patent
attorney concerned does not justify the removal of his name from the
register of patent agents or patent attorneys or his suspension from
practice, the court may reprimand him or order him to pay a fine not
exceeding R1 000.
(6)  Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), on application to the court
for the restoration to the register of patent agents or patent attorneys
of any name which has been removed therefrom, and after notice as
prescribed to the registrar, the South African Institute of Intellectual
Property Law and the law society, concerned, if any, who and which
shall be entitled to be heard, such name may be restored to such
register on such conditions as the court may determine.
(7)  The registrar of the court which issues any order under this section,
shall transmit a copy of that order to the registrar, who shall publish it
in the journal.
(8)  The registrar, in making any application in terms of this section, shall
at least one month prior to the date of such application submit to the
South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law and to the law
society concerned, if any, a copy of such application together with
copies of all documents referred to therein or connected therewith,
and the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law in making
such application shall likewise submit to the law society concerned, if
any, such copy and copies.
24.  Persons entitled to practise aspatent agents and patent attorneys.
(1)  Subject to the provisions of section 22, no person shall—
(a)  practise as a patent agent or a patent attorney unless he is
registered as such under section 20; or
(b)  in any manner hold himself out as a patent agent or patent
attorney or use any words or any name, title or description
indicating, or calculated to lead persons to infer, that he is a
patent agent or patent attorney or is recognized as such by
law, unless—
(i)  he is registered as a patent agent or patent attorney
under section 20; or
(ii)  he practises as an attorney in partnership with a person
who is registered as a patent attorney under section 20.
(2)  Nothing in this Act contained shall be construed as preventing any
practising attorney from instructing and corresponding with an agent,
for and on behalf of any other person, in regard to any matter or
proceedings under this Act, provided such attorney acts merely as an
intermediary between such person and such agent and otherwise
does nothing which only an agent may do under this Act.
(3)  Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act, a
patent agent mentioned in section 20 and in the employment of a
person who is not an agent, may represent that person or any person
designated by that person in any matter or proceedings under this Act.
(4)  Any person whose name has been removed from the register of
patent agents or patent attorneys or who has been suspended from
practising as a patent agent or patent attorney, shall not while his
name is so removed or while he is so suspended, practise as a patent
agent or patent attorney by himself or in partnership or association
with any other person, and shall not, except with the written consent of
the registrar after notice to the South African Institute of Intellectual
Property Law as prescribed, be employed in any capacity connected
with the profession of a patent agent or patent attorney.
(5)  Except with the written consent of the registrar, after notice to the
South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law as prescribed, no
agent shall knowingly employ in anycapacity whatsoever any person
whose name has been removed from the register of patent agents or
patent attorneys or who has been suspended from practising as a
patent agent or patent attorney, while such person’s name is so
removed or such person is so suspended.
(6)  Any person who contravenes any provision of this section shall be
guilty of an offence and on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding
R1 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months.
(7)  The registrar or the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law
shall have right to apply to the commissioner for an interdict and other
appropriate relief against any person contravening any provision of
this section.
[Sub-s. (7) substituted by s. 30 (a) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(8)  Any person who practises as a patent attorney shall be deemed, for
the purposes of any law relating to attorneys, to be practising as an
attorney.
(9)  Any communication made by or to a patent agent in his or her
capacity as such shall be privileged from disclosure in legal
proceedings in the same manner as is any communication made by or
to an attorney in his or her capacity as such.
[Sub-s. (9) added by s. 30 (b) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
CHAPTER V
APPLICATIONS FOR PATENTS
25.  Patentable inventions.
(1)  A patent may, subject to the provisions of this section, be granted for
any new invention which involves an inventive step and which is
capable of being used or applied in trade or industry or agriculture.
(2)  Anything which consists of—
(a) a discovery;
(b)  a scientific theory;    (c)  a mathematical method;  (d)  a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other
aesthetic creation;
(e)  a scheme, rule or method for performing a mental act, playing
a game or doing business;
(f )  a program for a computer; or    (g)  the presentation of information,  shall not be an invention for the purposes of this Act.
(3)  The provisions of subsection (2) shall prevent, only to the extent to
which a patent or an application for a patent relates to that thing as
such, anything from being treated as an invention for the purposes of
this Act.
(4)  A patent shall not be granted—
(a)  for an invention the publication or exploitation of which would
be generally expected to encourage offensive or immoral
behaviour; or
(b)  for any variety of animal or plant or any essentially biological
process for the production of animals or plants, not being a
micro-biological process or the product of such a process.
(5)  An invention shall be deemed to be new if it does not form part of the
state of the art immediately before the priority date of that invention.
[Sub-s. (5) substituted by s. 31 (a) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(6)  The state of the art shall comprise all matter (whether a product, a
process, information about either, or anything else) which has been
made available to the public (whether in the Republic or elsewhere) by
written or oral description, by use or in any other way.
(7)  The state of the art shall also comprise matter contained in an
application, open to public inspection, for a patent, notwithstanding
that that application was lodged at the patent office and became open
to public inspection on or after the priority date of the relevant
invention, if—
(a)  that matter was contained in that application both as lodged
and as open to public inspection; and
(b)  the priority date of that matter is earlier than that of the
invention.
[Sub-s. (7) substituted by s. 31 (b) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(8)  An invention used secretly and on a commercial scale within the
Republic shall also be deemed to form part of the state of the art for
the purposes of subsection (5).
(9)  In the case of an invention consisting of a substance or composition
for use in a method of treatment of the human or animal body by
surgery or therapy or of diagnosispractised on the human or animal
body, the fact that the substance or composition forms part of the
state of the art immediately before the priority date of the invention
shall not prevent a patent being granted for the invention if the use of
the substance or composition in any such method does not form part
of the state of the art at that date.
[Sub-s. (9) substituted by s. 31 (c) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(10)  Subject to the provisions of section 39 (6), an invention shall be
deemed to involve an inventive step if it is not obvious to a person
skilled in the art, having regard to any matter which forms,
immediately before the priority date of the invention, part of the state
of the art by virtue only of  subsection (6) (and disregarding
subsections (7) and (8)).
[Sub-s. (10) substituted by s. 31 (d) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(11)  An invention of a method of treatment of the human or animal body by
surgery or therapy or of diagnosispractised on the human or animal
body shall be deemed not to be capable of being used or applied in
trade or industry or agriculture.
(12)  Subsection (11) shall not prevent a product consisting of a substance
or composition being deemed to be capable of being used or applied
in trade or industry or agriculture merely because it is invented for use
in any such method.
26.  Prior  knowledge  or  publication of invention excused in certain
circumstances.
A patent shall not be invalid by reason only of the fact that the invention in
respect of which the patent was granted or any part thereof was disclosed,
used or known prior to the priority date of the invention—
(a)  if the patentee or his or her predecessor in title proves that such
knowledge was acquired or such disclosure or use was made without
his or her knowledge or consent, and that the knowledge acquired or
the matter disclosed or used was derived or obtained from him or her,
and, if he or she learnt of the disclosure, use or knowledge before the
priority date of the invention, that he or she applied for and obtained
protection for his or her invention with all reasonable diligence after
learning of the disclosure, use or knowledge; or
(b)  as a result of the invention being worked in the Republic by way of
reasonable technical trial or experiment by the applicant or patentee
or the predecessor in title of the applicant or patentee.
[S. 26 substituted by s. 32 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
27.  Who may apply for a patent.
(1)  An application for a patent in respect of an invention may be made by
the inventor or by any other person acquiring from him the right to
apply or by both such inventor and such other person.
(2)  In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, joint inventors may
apply for a patent in equal undivided shares.
28.  Disputes as to rights in or to inventions or patents.
(1)  Where a dispute arises between persons as to their rights to obtain a
patent for or to make, use, exercise or dispose of an invention, or as
to the right to or title in a patent, any such party may apply to the
commissioner to decide the matter in dispute, and the commissioner
shall decide the matter in dispute.
(2)  If the commissioner is satisfied that a person, not being obliged
thereto, is unable or unwilling to exercise his right to participate in an
application for a patent, the commissioner may order that person to
execute an assignment, in order that the application may be made
without such participation: Provided that where it appears to the
commissioner to be just and equitable, he may order the payment of
compensation to the non-participating person.
(3)  In any order declaring that a person has a right to the exclusion of any
other person to apply for a patent, the commissioner may direct that
such other person execute any deed of assignment that may be
required and that such deed of assignment extend to countries outside
the Republic.
29.  Joint ownership of applications.
(1)  Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), joint applicants for a patent
shall in default of an agreement to the contrary have equal undivided
shares in the application and none of them may without the consent of
the other joint applicant or applicants deal in any way with the
application: Provided that if any proceedings are required to save the
application from becoming abandoned, any applicant may institute
such proceedings on behalf of himself and any other joint applicant.
(2)  (a)  If any dispute arises between joint applicants as to their
respective rights in and to an application for a patent or as to
the manner in which the application is to be proceeded with or
the manner in which they shall deal with the application or
exploit the invention, any such joint applicant may apply to the
commissioner to decide the matter in dispute.
(b)  Unless the commissioner otherwise directs, such applicant
shall be liable for all costs and expenses incurred in respect of
proceedings in terms of paragraph (a).
(3)  If the commissioner is satisfied that a joint applicant, not being obliged
thereto, is unable or unwilling to proceed as joint applicant, the
commissioner may order that he assign his rights to any joint applicant
able and willing so to proceed: Provided that where it appears to the
commissioner to be just and equitable, he may order the payment of
compensation to the assignor.
(4)  In any proceedings in terms of subsection (2) (a) the commissioner
shall, unless it appears to him that there are good reasons to the
contrary, resolve the dispute in a manner which will lead to the
preservation of the application and the grant of a patent.
30.  Form of application for a patent.
(1)  An application for a patent shall be made in the prescribed manner
and on payment of the prescribed fee and shall be accompanied by a
provisional specification or by a complete specification.
(2)  Every such application shall contain an address for service in the
Republic to which all notices and communications may be sent, and
every applicant for a patent shall, before the acceptance of his
application, lodge with the registrar a declaration in the prescribed
form.
(3)  An address for service furnished in terms of section 9 (2) of the
repealed law, shall be deemed to have been furnished in terms of
subsection (2) of this section.
(4)  Any person other than the inventor making or joining in an application
for a patent shall in the prescribed manner furnish such proof of his
title or authority to apply for a patent as may be prescribed.
(5)  An application shall, save as is otherwise provided in this Act, date
from the day when it is lodged at the patent office.
(6)  (a)  An application shall not be denied a lodging date on formal
grounds only in that it does not comply with the requirements
of subsection (1), provided it is accompanied by—
(i) the prescribed fee;
(ii)  the prescribed application form signed either by the
applicant or his agent;
(iii)  one copy of the specification in one of the official
languages of the Republic or in an official language of
any convention country; and
(iv)  one copy of the drawings, if any, notwithstanding that
they are not in the prescribed form.
(b)  The provisions of paragraph (a) (iii) and (iv) shall be deemed to
have been complied with, in the case of a convention
application, by the inclusion in the prescribed form of the
number, date and title of the relevant application in the
convention country from which such convention application
claims priority and the name of the convention country, if the
specification and drawings, if any, are lodged within 14 days of
the date on which the application was lodged.
[Para. (b) substituted by s. 33 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(c)  Any specifications not in an official language of the Republic
shall be replaced within three months of the date of lodging by
a translation in one of such official languages, certified to the
satisfaction of the registrar.
(7)  An application may be amended within two months from the date on
which it has been lodged, in order to claim priority.
31.  Claiming priority.
(1)  An application accompanied by a complete specification may claim
priority from—
(a)  the date of the lodging of a prior application relating to the
same subject-matter, accompanied by a provisional
specification;
(b)  the date of the lodging of a prior application relating to the
same subject-matter, accompanied by a complete specification
and claiming no priority; or
(c)  the date of an application in a convention country relating to
the same subject-matter, provided—
(i)  in the case of an application claiming priority in terms of
paragraph (a) or (b) the prior application was lodged
not earlier than one year before or, on payment of the
prescribed fee, not earlier than 15 months before, the
date of the application claiming priority;
[Para. (i) substituted by s. 1 (a) of Act No. 67 of 1983.]
(ii)  . . . . . .  [Para. (ii) deleted by s. 1 (b) of Act No. 67 of 1983.]
(iii)  in the case of an application claiming priority in terms of
paragraph (c) the application in the convention country
was lodged not earlier than one year before the
convention application and was the first application in
any convention country in respect of the relevant
invention; and
(iv)  the applicant in the application claiming priority is the
proprietor of the prior application referred to in
paragraph (a) or (b) or of the application in the
convention country referred to in paragraph (c), or the
applicant has acquired the right to claim priority in the
Republic.
[Para. (iv) substituted by s. 34 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(2)  Where, after the lodging of the first application in a convention country
in respect of any invention a subsequent application is lodged in that
country in respect of the same invention, such subsequent application
shall be deemed to be the first application in that country in respect of
that invention if, at the time of the lodging thereof—
(a)  the previous application had been withdrawn, abandoned or
refused without having been open to public inspection;
(b)  no priority rights have been claimed on the strength of such
previous application; and
(c)  no rights are outstanding in the convention country in question
in connection with such previous application.
(3)  An application which has been withdrawn, abandoned or refused shall
not after the lodging of a subsequent application relating to the same
subject-matter, be capable of supporting a claim for priority rights
under this section unless any rights are outstanding in the Republic or
in any convention country in connection with the first-mentioned
application.
(4)  Where a person has applied for protection for any invention by an
application which—
(a)  in accordance with the terms of a treaty subsisting between
any two or more convention countries, is equivalent to an
application duly made in any one of those convention
countries; or
[Para. (a) substituted by s. 1 of Act No. 44 of 1986.]
(b)  in accordance with the law of any convention country is
equivalent to an application made in that convention country,
he shall for the purposes of this section be deemed to have
applied in a convention country.
(5)  If no priority is claimed from an application accompanied by a
provisional specification within the period specified in subparagraph (i)
of subsection (1), the application shall lapse.
[Sub-s. (5) substituted by s. 2 of Act No. 14 of 1979.]
32.  Contents of specification.
(1)  Every specification shall indicate whether it is a provisional or a
complete specification, and shall commence with a title sufficiently
indicating the subject-matter of the relevant invention.
(2)  A provisional specification shall fairly describe the invention.
(3)  A complete specification shall—
(a)  have an abstract as prescribed;  (b)  sufficiently describe, ascertain and, where necessary, illustrate
or exemplify the invention and the manner in which it is to be
performed in order to enable the invention to be performed by
a person skilled in the art of such invention; and
(c)  . . . . . .  (d)  end with a claim or claims defining the invention for which
protection is claimed.
[Sub-s. (3) substituted by s. 1 of Act, No. 58 of 2002.]
(4)  The claim or claims of a complete specification shall relate to a single
invention, shall be clear, and shall be fairly based on the matter
disclosed in the specification.
(5)  Drawings and illustrations, if any, shall be as prescribed.
(6)  If a complete specification claims as an invention a micro-biological
process or a product thereof and requires for the performance of the
invention the use of a micro-organism which is not available to the
public on the date of lodging of the application and which cannot be
made or obtained on the basis of the description in the specification,
the micro-organism shall be dealt with in the prescribed manner.
[Sub-s. (6) substituted by s. 2 (1) of Act No. 44 of 1986.]
(Date of commencement: 14 July, 1997.)
33.  Priority dates.
(1)  For the purposes of this Act, the priority date of an invention to which
an application for a patent relates, and also that of any matter
contained in any such application, whether or not such matter is the
same as the invention, shall, except as otherwise provided in this Act,
be the date of the lodging of the application.
(2)  Where priority is claimed in an application in terms of section 31 (1)
from one or more prior applications, or one or more prior applications
in a convention country or countries, or both, and the invention
claimed in the application is fairly based on matter disclosed in one or
more of any such prior applications, the priority date of the invention
shall be the date of lodging of the earliest of such prior applications in
which that matter was disclosed in so far as it is fairly based on such
earliest application.
[Sub-s. (2) substituted by s. 2 of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
(3)  Any invention claimed in an application may have one or more priority
dates.
(4)  Until the contrary is proved, the priority date of an invention shall be
the earliest priority date claimed in an application.
(5)  In determining whether an invention claimed in an application is fairly
based on the matter disclosed in a prior application or a prior
application in a convention country, regard shall be had to the
disclosures contained in all documents lodged at the same time as
and in support of that prior application or prior application in a
convention country.
(6)  The priority date of new matter introduced by way of a supplementary
disclosure in terms of section 51 (8) shall be the date of lodging of the
supplementary disclosure.
[S. 33 amended by s. 2 of Act No. 67 of 1983 and substituted by s. 35 of Act
No. 38 of 1997.]
34.  Examinations of applications and specifications.
The registrar shall examine in the prescribed manner every application for a
patent and every complete specification accompanying such application or
lodged at the patent office in pursuance of such application and if it complies
with the requirements of this Act, he shall accept it.
35.  Procedure if result of examination of application is adverse to
applicant.
(1)  If the result of an examination in connection with an application for a
patent, or in connection with the specification which accompanied that
application, is adverse to the applicant, the registrar may refuse to
accept the application or require the application or the specification
which accompanied it to be amended in such manner as may be
necessary.
(2)  If in the case of a convention application the prescribed documents do
not accompany the application or are not furnished within the
prescribed period, the registrar may deal with the application as an
ordinary application.
36.  Power to refuse applications in particular cases.
(1)  If in the case of any application it appears to the registrar—
(a)  that the application is frivolous on the ground that it claims as
an invention anything obviously contrary to well established
natural laws; or
(b)  that the use of the invention to which the application relates
would be generally expected to encourage offensive or
immoral behaviour,he shall refuse the application.
(2)  If it appears to the registrar that any invention in respect of which an
application for a patent is made might be used in any manner contrary
to law, he may refuse the application unless the specification is
amended by the addition of such disclaimer in respect of that
invention, or such other reference to the illegality thereof, as the
registrar may think fit.
37.  Procedure in case of amendment of application or lodging of fresh
application.
(1)  Where at any time after an application has been lodged at the patent
office and before it is accepted, a fresh application is made in the
prescribed manner by the same applicant in respect of part of the
matter disclosed in the first-mentioned application, the registrar may,
on application made to him in the prescribed manner before that
application is accepted, direct that such fresh application be antedated to a date not earlier than the date on which the first-mentioned
application was so lodged.
(2)  A patent granted on such fresh application shall not be revoked or
invalidated on the ground only that the invention claimed in such fresh
application is not new having regard to the matter disclosed in the
first-mentioned application.
[Sub-s. (2) added by s. 36 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
38.  Circumstances in which complete specifications may be changed to
provisional specifications, and post-dating of applications.
(1)  Where an application for a patent (not being an application mentioned
in section 31 (1) (c) is accompanied by a specification purporting to be
a complete specification, the registrar may, if the applicant so requests
in the prescribed manner at any time before the acceptance of the
specification but not later than 12 months from the date on which the
application was lodged at the patent office, direct that it be treated for
the purposes of this Act as a provisional specification and deal with
the application accordingly.
(2)  At any time after an application has been lodged at the patent office,
and before acceptance of the complete specification, the registrar
may, at the request of the applicant, made in the prescribed manner,
direct that the application be post-dated to such date as may be
specified in the request: Provided that—
(a)  no application shall be post-dated under this subsection to a
date later than six months from the date on which it was
actually so lodged or would, but for this subsection, be deemed
to have been so lodged;
(b)  an application claiming priority shall not be post-dated under
this subsection to a date later than the last date on which,
under the provisions of this Act, the application could have
been lodged; and
(c)  no application shall be post-dated if priority has been claimed
on the basis of that application by the applicant or his
successors or predecessors in title in the Republic or
elsewhere in a subsequent application for a patent which
leaves any rights outstanding.
39.  Manner of obtaining and effect of patent of addition.
(1)  Where a patent for an invention (hereinafter referred to as the main
invention) has been applied for or granted, and the applicant or the
patentee applies in the prescribed manner for a further patent in
respect of any addition to, improvement in or modification of the
invention described or claimed in the complete specification of the
main invention, he may be granted a patent of addition.
(2)  The period for which such patent of addition shall be granted, shall be
so much of the period of the patent for the main invention as is
unexpired, and no fees shall be payable for the renewal of such patent
of addition.
(3)  Where an invention consisting ofan addition to or improvement in or
modification of a main invention is the subject of an independent
patent, and the patentee in respect of the independent patent, being
also the patentee in respect of the main invention, so requests, the
registrar may revoke the independent patent and grant a patent of
addition in respect of the addition,improvement or modification,
having the same date of application as the independent patent so
revoked, and having effect from the date as from which that patent
had effect.
(4)  (a)  Where the patent for the main invention is surrendered,
revoked, refused or abandoned, the patent of addition shall,
unless the commissioner or the registrar otherwise directs,
become an independent patent and the normal term of such
independent patent shall not extend beyond the date on which
the patent for the main invention would have expired if it had
not been surrendered, revoked, refused or abandoned.
(b)  The prescribed renewal fees which would have been payable
in respect of the patent for the main invention shall, as from the
date on which a patent becomes an independent patent in
terms of paragraph (a), be payable in respect of the lastmentioned patent.
[Sub-s. (4) substituted by s. 3 of Act No. 67 of 1983.]
(5)  An application for a patent of addition shall not be accepted before the
acceptance of the application for the patent for the main invention:
Provided that where no patent is granted for the main invention, the
application for a patent of addition may be dealt with as an ordinary
application for a patent.
(6)  The grant of a patent of addition shall be conclusive evidence that the
invention is a proper subject for such a patent, and shall not be
refused, nor shall any such patent be liable to be revoked or
invalidated, on the ground only that the invention claimed in the
complete specification does not involve any inventive step having
regard to the main invention.
(7)  A patent for a main invention and its patent of addition shall not be
capable of assignment apart from one another.
40.  Lapsing of applications.
If a complete specification is not accepted within 18 months from the date of
an application, the application shall lapse unless—
(a)  an appeal has been lodged in respect of the application;
(b)  the time within which such appeal may be lodged has not expired; or
(c)  the delay in accepting the specification was not due to any act or
omission on the part of the applicant: Provided that where an
application is made for an extension of time for the acceptance of a
complete specification, the registrar shall, on payment of the
prescribed fee, grant an extension of time to the extent applied for, but
not exceeding three months: Provided further that the registrar may,
on good cause shown and on payment of the prescribed fee, grant a
further extension of time.
41.  Disposal of specifications in lapsed applications.
Where no priority has been claimed under section 31 (1) (a) from an
application accompanied by a provisional specification and the application
has lapsed, or an application and every application claiming priority from it
has lapsed or has been abandoned or has been finally refused, the registrar
shall at the request of the applicant made in the prescribed manner return to
him any specification lodged in connection with the application: Provided that
no document containing proof of payment shall be returned to the applicant.
42.  Notice and publication of acceptance of complete specification.
(1)  When a complete specification has been accepted, the registrar shall
give written notice of that fact to the applicant.
(2)  Such notice shall contain—
(a)  the date of acceptance of the specification; and    (b)  a statement that on publication by the applicant in the  journal of the acceptance of the specification, the
patent concerned shall be deemed to have been sealed
and granted as from the date of such publication.
(3)  Unless the acceptance is so published in the journal within the
prescribed period or within such further period as the registrar may, on
application to him and on good cause shown and on payment of the
prescribed fee, allow, the application shall lapse.
43.  Inspection by public.
(1)  After the publication contemplated in section 42, or after being open
for public inspection in terms of subsection (3) of this section, the
patent and the application and all documents lodged in support thereof
shall on payment of the prescribed fee be open to public inspection in
the patent office.
(2)  When an application which claims a priority date in terms of section
31 (1) is so open to public inspection, any other application from which
it claims a priority date and any documents lodged in support of such
an application shall simultaneously be open likewise to public
inspection.
(3)  If the acceptance of an application which claims priority in terms of
section 31 (1) (c) is not published in terms of section 42 within 18
months from the earliest prioritydate claimed from the relevant
application in a convention country, it shall be open to public
inspection as provided in subsection (1).
[Sub-s. (3) substituted by s. 4 of Act No. 67 of 1983.]
(4)  (a)  After the expiry of five years following the date of application
for a patent, any person may apply to the registrar for the
patentee to supply the applicant with the prescribed particulars
of any search report issued in another country in respect of an
application for a patent relating to the same subject-matter
which has been lodged in that country.
(b)  On receipt of the application, the registrar shall forward a copy
thereof to the patentee at the patentee’s address for service.
(c)  If the patentee fails to comply with the application within three
months of receipt of the copy of the application at the
patentee’s address for service, the applicant may apply to the
commissioner for an order requiring compliance with the
application.
(d)  Upon an application for compliance, the commissioner may
order such compliance and, if the order is not complied with,
the commissioner may make the further order that he or she
thinks fit.
[Sub-s. (4) added by s. 37 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
CHAPTER VA
INTERNATIONAL APPLICATIONS UNDER THE PATENT COOPERATION
TREATY
[Chapter VA inserted by s. 38 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
43A. Interpretation.
In this Chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates—
(a)  any word or expression defined in the Patent Co-operation Treaty
shall have the same meaning as in that Treaty; and
(b)  “national phase of international application” means an application for a
patent in the Republic contemplated in section 43B, in respect of
which the applicant has complied with section 43E.
[S. 43A inserted by s. 38 of Act No. 38 of 1997 and substituted by s. 3 of Act
No. 58 of 2002.]
43B. Effect of international application designating Republic.
Subject to this Chapter, an international application designating the Republic
shall be deemed to be an application for a patent lodged at the patent office in
terms of this Act.
[S. 43B inserted by s. 38 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
43C. Patent  office  as  receiving,  designated and elected Office.—The patent
office shall be.
(a)  the receiving Office in respect of an international application lodged at
it by a person who is a resident or national of the Republic;
(b)  the designated Office in respect of an international application
designating the Republic;
(c)  the elected Office, if an applicant in an international application
designating the Republic elects the Republic for the purposes of an
international preliminary examination under Chapter II of the Patent
Cooperation Treaty.
[S. 43C inserted by s. 38 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
43D. National processing.
The patent office as designated Office or elected Office shall not commence
processing of the national phase of an international application designating or
electing the Republic before the expiration of the period referred to in section
43E (1) except where the applicant complies with that section and lodges with
the patent office a written request for early commencement of such
processing.
[S. 43D inserted by s. 38 of Act No. 38 of 1997 and substituted by s. 4 of Act No. 58
of 2002.]
43E. Commencement of national phase.
(1)  Before the expiration of the applicable period contemplated in Article
22 or 39 of the Patent Cooperation Treaty or of such further period as
may be prescribed by regulation under this Act, the applicant in
respect of an international application designating or electing the
Republic shall—
(a)  pay the prescribed national fee to the patent office; and  (c)  if the international application has not been lodged or
published in terms of the Patent Co-operation Treaty in
English, lodge at the patent office within the prescribed
period a translation of the international application, containing
the prescribed contents, in an official language of the Republic.
[Para. (b) substituted by s. 5 (a) of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
(2)  If the applicant does not comply with subsection (1) within the period
referred to in that subsection, the international application concerned,
insofar as the Republic is designated or elected, shall be deemed to
have been abandoned for the purposes of this Act.
Sub-s. (2) substituted by s. 5 (b) of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
(3)  The registrar may upon application made either before or after the
expiry of the further period contemplated in subsection (1), extend the
period for a further period not exceeding three months.
[S. 43E inserted by s. 38 of Act No. 38 of 1997. Sub-s. (3) added by s. (5) (c)
of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
43F.  Administration.
(1)  When processing the national phase of an international application,
the patent office shall, subject to subsections (2), (3) and (4) apply the
Patent Co-operation Treaty, the regulations made thereunder and the
administrative instructions issued under those regulations, and the
other provisions of this Act.
(2)  When processing the national phase of an international application, he
Patent Co-operation Treaty, the regulations made thereunder and the
administrative instructions issued under those regulations shall prevail
in the event of any conflict with this Act.
(3)  When processing the national phase of an international application
designating the Republic—
(a)  (i)  section 9 (b) shall not apply; and  (ii)  the applicant shall be represented by an agent who
shall be appointed within the prescribed time;
(b)  section 10 shall apply only if the applicant complies with
section 43E and the applicant who so complies shall, for the
purposes of section 10, be deemed to be the applicant in
respect of the national phase of the international application;
(c)  section 16 (2) shall apply in relation to time limits specified in
terms of the Patent Co-operation Treaty, the regulations made
thereunder and the administrative instructions issued under
those regulations unless otherwise provided therein;
(d)  (i)  section 30 (1), (5) and (6) shall not apply;   (e)  (i)  the description, claims, drawings (if any) and
abstract referred to in Article 3 (2) of the Patent Cooperation Treaty shall be deemed to be a complete
specification; and
(ii)  section 32 (5) shall not apply;  (f) if—
(i)  the international application is a convention application;
(ii)  the applicant has complied with Rule 17.1 of the
regulations made under the Patent Co-operation
Treaty; and
(iii)  the priority document referred to in the said Rule 17.1 is
a prescribed document for the purposes of section 35
(2),the applicant shall be deemed to have furnished a
copy of the priority document within the prescribed
period referred to in section 35 (2);
(fA)  if the first-mentioned application contemplated in section 37 is
the national phase of an international application, the date on
which that application was lodged at the patent office shall be
the international filing date accorded in terms of the Patent Cooperation Treaty;
(g)  section 38 shall not apply;
(h)   the period of 18 months from the date of the application
shall, for the purposes of section 40, be a period of 12 months
from the date on which the applicant complies with section
43E;
(i)  section 43 (3) shall not apply but, when the applicant has
complied with section 43E and the international application has
been published in terms of Article 21 of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the national phase of the international
application shall be open to public inspection as provided in
section 43 (1);
(j)  section 43 (4) shall not apply;
(jA)  the date of application of the national phase of the
international application shall, for the purposes of
section 46 be the international filing date accorded in
terms of the Patent Co-operation Treaty;
(k)  any correction or rectification of any document made in terms
of the regulations made under the Patent Co-operation Treaty
shall be deemed to be a correction or amendment made in
terms of section 50;
(l)  (i)  if an application for amendment of the national phase of
the international application is made before publication
in terms of section 42, the application for amendment
shall not be advertised as contemplated in section 51
(2);
(m)  any amendment made in terms of—  (i)  Article 19 of the Patent Co-operation Treaty and which
does not go beyond the disclosure in the international
application as filed; or
(ii)  Article 34 of the Patent Co-operation Treaty and which
is annexed to the international preliminary examination
report,shall be deemed to have been allowed in terms
of section 51 but may be set aside in terms of
subsection (10) of that section if the amendment does
not comply with subsection (6) or  (7) thereof.
(4)  Save as provided for in this Chapter, the provisions relating to an
application for a patent accompanied by a complete specification shall
mutatis mutandis apply to the national phase of an international
application, and to any patent granted thereon.
[S. 43F inserted by s. 38 of Act No. 38 of 1997 and substituted by s. 6 of Act
No. 58 of 2002.]
CHAPTER VI
GRANT, DURATION AND EFFECT OF PATENTS
44. Granting and sealing of patent.
(1)  As soon as practicable after the publication contemplated in section
42, a patent in the form prescribed shall be granted to the applicant,
and the registrar shall cause the patent to be sealed with the seal of
the patent office, and such sealing shall be deemed to have been
effected on the date of that publication.
(2)  The date on which that sealing is so deemed to have been effected
shall for the purposes of this Act be the date of the sealing of the
patent.
(3)  The patent shall have effect from the date of the publication
mentioned in subsection (1).
(4)  No proceedings for the infringement of a patent shall be instituted
within a period of nine months fromthe date of the sealing thereof:
Provided that the commissioner may, on good cause shown, grant
leave to institute such proceedings at any time after the date of the
sealing of the patent.
45.  Effect of patent.
(1)  The effect of a patent shall be to grant to the patentee in the Republic,
subject to the provisions of this Act, for the duration of the patent, the
right to exclude other persons from making, using, exercising,
disposing or offering to dispose of, orimporting the invention, so that
he or she shall have and enjoy the whole profit and advantage
accruing by reason of the invention.
[Sub-s. (1) substituted by s. 40 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(2)  The disposal of a patented article by or on behalf of a patentee or his
licensee shall, subject to other patent rights, give the purchaser the
right to use, offer to dispose of and dispose of that article.
[Sub-s. (2) substituted by s. 7 of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
46.  Duration of patent.
(1)  The duration of a patent shall, unless otherwise provided in this Act,
be 20 years from the date of application therefor, subject to payment
of the prescribed renewal fees by the patentee concerned or an agent.
[Sub-s. (1) substituted by s. 5 of Act No. 67 of 1983 and by s. 41 of Act No.
38 of 1997.]
(2)  A patent shall lapse at the end of the period prescribed for the
payment of any prescribed renewal fee, if it is not paid within that
period: Provided that the registrar may upon application and subject to
the payment of such additional fee as may be prescribed, extend the
period for payment of any such fee for a period not exceeding six
months.
47.  Restoration of lapsed patent.
(1)  Where a patent has lapsed owing to non-payment of any prescribed
renewal fee within the prescribed period or the extended period
referred to in section 46 (2), the patentee may in the prescribed
manner and on payment of the prescribed fee, apply to the registrar
for the restoration of the patent.
[Sub-s. (1) substituted by s. 6 of Act No. 67 of 1983.]
(2)  If the registrar is satisfied that the omission was unintentional and that
no undue delay has occurred in the making of the application, he shall
advertise the application in the prescribed manner, and thereupon any
person (hereinafter in this section referred to as the objector) may
within such period as may be prescribed, give notice in the prescribed
manner of opposition to the restoration of the patent.
(3)  If there is no opposition to such restoration, the registrar may, subject
to the provisions of subsection (5), issue an order restoring the patent,
or dismiss the application.
(4)  Where notice of opposition is given, the commissioner shall, after
hearing the applicant and the objector, decide the matter and issue an
order either restoring the patent or dismissing the application.
(5)  Any order restoring the patent shall be subject to the payment of such
prescribed fees as remain unpaid on the date of the order.
48.  Rights of patentee of restored patent.
(1)  A patentee of a patent restored in terms of section 47 shall not by
virtue of the provisions of this Act institute any proceedings against or
recover damages from any person who—
(a)  infringed the patent after the lapse of a period of six months
from the date on which the renewal fee was due and before
the date on which the application for the restoration of the
patent was advertised;
(b)  used, offered to dispose of or disposed of any article made or
imported in the period referred to in paragraph (a); or
[Para. (b) substituted by s. 8 (a) of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
(c)  (i)  during the period set out in paragraph (a) commenced
using or exercising the invention to which the patent
relates and who thereafter continues to use or exercise
the invention; or
(ii)  uses or offers to dispose of or disposes of any articles
or products produced by the continued use or exercise
referred to in subparagraph (i):
[Sub-para. (ii) substituted by s. 8 (b) of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
Provided that the exemption conferred by this subsection shall be limited to
the particular person mentioned in paragraph (c) (i) or (ii), his executor,
administrator, successor or assignee oracquirer, as the case may be.
(2)  Where a patent has been restored under section 47, any person who,
during the period referred to in subsection (1) (a), has expended any
money, time or labour with a view to making, using, exercising,
offering to dispose of, disposing of or importing the invention, may
apply in the prescribed manner to the commissioner for compensation
in respect of the money, time and labour so expended.
[Sub-s. (2) substituted by s. 8 (c) of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
(3)  The commissioner may, after hearing the parties concerned, assess
the amount of such compensation if in his opinion the application
ought to be granted and determine the time within which such
compensation shall be paid.
(4)  Any amount assessed under subsection (3) shall not be recoverable
as a debt or damages but, if it is not paid within the time determined
by the commissioner, the patent shall lapse.
49.  Joint ownership in patents.
(1)  Where a patent is granted to two or more persons jointly, each of the
joint patentees shall, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary,
be entitled to an equal undivided share in the patent.
(2)  Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), a joint patentee shall, in
the absence of an agreement to the contrary and in the absence of
consent of the joint patentee or patentees, not be entitled—
(a)  to make, use, exercise, offer to dispose of, dispose of or import
the patented invention;
[Para. (a) substituted by s. 9 of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
(b)  to grant a licence or to assign the whole or any part of his
interest in the patent; or
(c)  to take any steps or institute any proceedings relating to the
patent:
Provided that he may pay any renewal fee that is payable without
recourse to any other patentee, unless the commissioner directs
otherwise in proceedings in terms of subsection (6).
(3)  Where a patented article is disposed of by a joint patentee, the
acquirer or any person claiming through him shall be entitled to deal
with it in the same manner as if the article had been disposed of by
the patentees jointly.
(4)  Any joint patentee may institute proceedings for infringement and shall
give notice thereof to every other joint patentee, and any such other
patentee may intervene as co-plaintiff and recover any damages in
respect of any damage he may have suffered as a result of the
infringement.
(5)  If in any proceedings under subsection (4) damages are awarded to a
plaintiff, he shall be awarded damages as if he were the sole
patentee, and the defendant shall not be obliged to compensate any
other joint patentee in respect of the infringement in question.
(6)  Where any dispute arises between joint patentees as to their
respective rights in or to a patent, the institution of proceedings
relating to the patent or the manner in which they should deal with the
patent or the patented invention, any joint patentee may apply to the
commissioner to decide the matter in dispute.
[Sub-s. (6) substituted by s. 42 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(7)  If in considering any application under subsection (6) the
commissioner is satisfied that a joint patentee, not being obliged
thereto, is unable or unwilling to remain a patentee, the commissioner
may order him to assign his rights to any other joint patentee able and
willing so to remain: Provided that where it appears to the
commissioner to be just and equitable, he may order the payment of
compensation to such joint patentee who is so ordered to assign his
rights.
(8)  In considering any application under subsection (6) the commissioner
shall, unless it appears to him that there are good reasons to the
contrary, resolve the dispute in a manner which will lead to the
preservation and exploitation of the patent.
CHAPTER VII
CORRECTIONS AND AMENDMENTS
50.  Correction of clerical errors and amendment of documents.
(1)  The registrar or the commissioner may authorize—
(a)  the correction of any clerical error or error in translation in any
patent, application for a patent or document lodged in
pursuance of such an application, or in the register;
(b)  the amendment otherwise of any document for the amending
of which no express provision is made in this Act.
(2)  A correction may be made in pursuance of this section, either upon a
request in writing accompanied by the prescribed fee or without such
a request.
(3)  Where it is proposed to make a correction otherwise than upon such a
request, the registrar shall give notice of the proposed correction to
the patentee or the applicant for the patent, as the case may be, and
to any other person who appears to him to be concerned, and shall
give any such person an opportunity of being heard before the
correction is made.
(4)  Where a request is made for any such correction and it appears to the
registrar that the correction would materially alter the scope of the
document to which the request relates, the registrar may require
notice of the request to be advertised in the journal and to be served
upon such persons as he may consider necessary.
(5)  If such notice has not been so advertised and served or if it has been
so advertised and there is no opposition to such correction, the
registrar may decide the matter or refer it to the commissioner, who
shall decide it as he may deem fit.
(6)  Where such notice has been so advertised and served, any person
may oppose the request mentioned in subsection (2) within the
prescribed time and in the prescribed manner, and thereupon the
matter shall be dealt with by the commissioner as he may deem fit.
51.  Amendment of specification.
(1)  An applicant for a patent or a patentee may at any time apply in the
prescribed manner to the registrar for the amendment of either the
relevant provisional specification or the relevant complete
specification, and shall in making such application, set out the nature
of the proposed amendment and furnish his full reasons therefor.
(2)  An application for the amendment of a specification that is open to
public inspection shall, except in the case of an application so open in
terms of section 43 (3), be advertised in the prescribed manner.
(3)  (a)  Any person may oppose such application for amendment
within the prescribed timeand in the prescribed manner.
(b)   Such opposition to such application for amendment shall be
dealt with by the commissioner in the prescribed manner, and
the commissioner shall determine whether and on what
conditions, if any, the amendment ought to be allowed.
(4)  Where the acceptance of a specification concerned has not been
published in terms of section 42 or there is no opposition in terms of
subsection (3) (a) of this section, the registrar may determine whether
and on which conditions, if any, the amendment ought to be allowed.
[Sub-s. (4) substituted by s. 7 (a) of Act No. 67 of 1983.]
(5)  An amendment of a provisional specification shall be allowed if it is by
way of correction, including correction of an obvious mistake, and no
amendment of a provisional specification shall be allowed if it would
introduce new matter or matter not in substance disclosed in the
specification sought to be amended.
(6)  No amendment of a complete specification which becomes open to
public inspection after the publication of the acceptance of the
specification in terms of section 42, whether before or after it so
becomes open to public inspection, shall be allowed if—
(a)  the effect of the amendment would be to introduce new matter
or matter not in substance disclosed in the specification before
amendment; or
(b)  the specification as amended would include any claim not fairly
based on matter disclosed in the specification before
amendment.
[Sub-s. (6) amended by s. 7 (b) of Act No. 67 of 1983.]
(7)  No amendment of a complete specification which has become open to
public inspection after the publication of the acceptance of the
specification in terms of section 42 shall be allowed if the specification
as amended would include any claim not wholly within the scope of a
claim included in the specification before amendment.
(8)  Where an amendment may not be allowed by reason of the prohibition
imposed by subsection (6) (a), but it describes matter which may fairly
be associated with the matter described in the specification as framed
and the acceptance of the specification concerned has not been
published in terms of section 42, the new matter may be introduced by
way of a supplementary disclosure attached to the specification and
dated with the date on which the application for amendment is made:
Provided that in determining the validity of the patent under this Act,
regard shall be had to the priority date of the new matter introduced by
way of the supplementary disclosure.
[Sub-s. (8) substituted by s. 3 (a) of Act No. 44 of 1986 and amended by s.
43 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(9)  Where any proceedings relating to an application for a patent or a
patent are pending in any court, an application for the amendment of
the relevant specification shall be made to that court, which may deal
with such application for amendment as it thinks fit but subject to the
provisions of subsections (5), (6) and (7), or may stay such pending
proceedings and remit such application for amendment to the registrar
to be dealt with in accordance with subsections (2), (3) and (4).
[Sub-s. (9) substituted by s. 3 (b) of Act No. 44 of 1986.]
(10)  Any amendment of a specification made in conflict with the provisions
of this section, other than an amendment allowed by the
commissioner or a court, may be set aside by the commissioner at
any time on application made to him.
52.  Rectification of register.
The registrar may order the register tobe rectified by the making, amendment
or deletion of any entry therein, and such order may be made either on a
request in the prescribed manner or without such request: Provided that
where the registrar intends to make an order otherwise than upon a request,
he shall give notice of his intention to do so to the patentee or the applicant
for the patent, as the case may be, and to any other person who appears to
him to be concerned, and shall give such patentee or applicant or other
person an opportunity of being heard before making the order.
CHAPTER VIII
LICENCES
53.  Licences of right.
(1)  At any time after the date of the sealing of a patent, the patentee may
apply to the registrar for the patent to be endorsed with the words
“licences of right” and where such an application is made the registrar
shall, if satisfied that the patentee is not precluded by contract from
granting licences under the patent, cause the patent to be endorsed
accordingly.
(2)  Where a patent has been endorsed under this section—
(a)  any person shall at any time thereafter be entitled as of right to
a licence under the patent upon such conditions as may, in
default of agreement, be decided by the commissioner on the
application of the patentee or the person requiring the licence;
(b)  the commissioner may, on the application of the holder of any
licence granted under the patent before the endorsement,
order such licence to be replaced by a licence to be granted by
virtue of the endorsement on conditions to be decided by the
commissioner;
(c)  no interdict shall, in proceedings for infringement of the patent
(otherwise than by the importation of goods) be granted
against the defendant if he undertakes to take a licence upon
conditions to be decided by the commissioner, and the
amount, if any, recoverable from the defendant by way of
damages shall in such case not exceed double the amount
which would have been payable by him as licensee if such a
licence had been granted before the earliest infringement;
(d)  the renewal fee payable in respect of the patent after the date
of the endorsement shall be one half of the renewal fee which
would have been payable if the patent had not been so
endorsed.
(3)  The licensee under a licence granted by virtue of the endorsement of
a patent in terms of this section may (unless in the case of a licence
whereof the conditions are decided by agreement, the licence
otherwise expressly provides) call upon the patentee to institute
proceedings in respect of any infringement of the patent, and if the
patentee fails to do so within two months after being so called upon,
the licensee may institute proceedings for the infringement in his own
name as if he were patentee, joining the patentee as a defendant.
(4)  A patentee so joined as a defendant shall not be liable for any costs
unless he enters an appearance and takes part in the proceedings.
(5)  An application for the endorsement of a patent in terms of this section
shall contain a statement, to be verified in such manner as may be
prescribed, that the patentee is not precluded by contract from
granting licences under the patent, and the registrar may require from
the applicant such further evidence as he may think necessary.
(6)  An application under this section for the endorsement of a patent of
addition shall be dealt with as an application for the endorsement of
the patent for the main invention also, and an application made under
this section for the endorsement of a patent in respect of which a
patent of addition is in force, shall be dealt with as an application for
the endorsement of the patent of addition also, and where a patent of
addition is granted in respect of a patent already endorsed under this
section, the patent of addition shall also be so endorsed.
(7)  Every endorsement of a patent in terms of this section shall be
recorded in the register and shall be advertised in the journal and in
such other manner as the registrar may direct, to bring the
endorsement to the notice of interested persons.
54.  Cancellation of endorsement on patent.
(1)  At any time after a patent has been endorsed in terms of section 53,
the patentee may apply to the registrar for the cancellation of the
endorsement.
(2)  Where such an application is made and the balance paid of all
renewal fees which would have been payable if the patent had not
been endorsed, the registrar may, if he is satisfied that there is no
existing licence under the patent or that all licensees under the patent
consent to the cancellation, cancel the endorsement.
(3)  Within the prescribed period after a patent has been endorsed in
terms of section 53, any person who claims that the patentee is, and
was at the time of the endorsement, precluded by a contract in which
the claimant is interested from granting licences under the patent, may
apply to the registrar for cancellation of the endorsement.
(4)  Where the registrar is satisfied, on an application under subsection
(3), that the patentee is and was precluded as aforesaid, he shall
cancel the endorsement, and thereupon the patentee shall pay to the
registrar, within such period as may be prescribed, a sum equal to the
balance of all renewal fees which would have been payable if the
patent had not been endorsed and, if that sum is not paid within that
period, the patent shall lapse at the expiry of that period.
(5)  An application for the cancellation of the endorsement of a patent of
addition shall be dealt with as an application for the cancellation of the
endorsement of the patent for the main invention also, and an
application for the cancellation of the endorsement of a patent in
respect of which a patent of addition is in force shall be dealt with as
an application for the cancellation of the endorsement of the patent of
addition also.
(6)  Where the endorsement of a patent is cancelled under this section,
the rights and liabilities of the patentee shall thereafter be the same as
if the endorsement had not been made.
55.  Compulsory licences in respect of dependent patents.
Where the working of a patent (hereinafter referred to as a dependent patent)
without infringement of a prior patent is dependent upon the obtaining of a
licence under that prior patent, the proprietor of the dependent patent may, if
agreement cannot be reached as to such licence with the proprietor of the
prior patent, apply to the commissioner for a licence under the prior patent,
and the commissioner may grant such a licence on such conditions as he
may impose, but including a condition that such licence shall be used only for
the purpose of permitting the dependent patent to be worked and for no other
purpose: Provided that the commissioner shall not grant such a licence
unless—
(a)  the invention claimed in the dependent patent involves an important
technical advance of considerable economic significance in relation to
the invention claimed in the prior patent;
(b)  the proprietor of the dependent patent granted the proprietor of the
prior patent on reasonable terms a cross-licence to use the invention
claimed in the dependent patent; and
(c)  the use authorised in respect of the prior patent is not assignable
except with the assignment of the dependent patent.
[S. 55 amended by s. 44 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
56.  Compulsory licence in case of abuse of patent rights.
(1)  Any interested person who can show that the rights in a patent are
being abused may apply to the commissioner in the prescribed
manner for a compulsory licence under the patent.
[Sub-s. (1) substituted by s. 45 (a) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(1A)  . . . . . .
[Sub-s. (1A) inserted by s. 2 (a) of Act No. 76 of 1988 and deleted by s. 45 (b) of Act
No. 38 of 1997.]
(2)  The rights in a patent shall be deemed to be abused if—
(a)  the patented invention is not being worked in the Republic on a
commercial scale or to an adequate extent, after the expiry of
a period of four years subsequent to the date of the application
for the patent or three years subsequent to the date on which
that patent was sealed, whichever period last expires, and
there is in the opinion of the commissioner no satisfactory
reason for such non-working;
(b)  . . . . . .  [Para. (b) deleted by s. 45 (b) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(c)  the demand for the patented article in the Republic is not being
met to an adequate extent and on reasonable terms;
(d)  by reason of the refusal of the patentee to grant a licence or
licences upon reasonable terms, the trade or industry or
agriculture of the Republic or the trade of any person or class
of persons trading in the Republic, or the establishment of any
new trade or industry in the Republic, is being prejudiced, and
it is in the public interest that a licence or licences should be
granted; or
(e)  the demand in the Republic for the patented article is being
met by importation and the price charged by the patentee, his
licensee or agent for the patented article is excessive in
relation to the price charged therefor in countries where the
patented article is manufactured by or under licence from the
patentee or his predecessor or successor in title.
(3)  The patentee or any other person appearing from the register to be
interested in the patent may in the prescribed manner oppose the
application.
(4)  (a)  The commissioner shall consider the application on its merits
and may order the grant to the applicant of a licence on such
conditions as he or she may deem fit, including a condition
precluding the licensee from importing into the Republic any
patented articles.
[Para. (a) substituted by s. 45 (c) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(b)  If the commissioner is of the opinion that an order directing the
grant of a licence is not justified, he may refuse the application.
(c)  A licence granted under this section shall include a provision
that, subject to adequate protection of the legitimate interests
of the licensee, the licence shall, on application by the
patentee, be terminated if the circumstances which led to its
grant cease to exist and, in the opinion of the commissioner,
are unlikely to recur.
[Para. (c) added by s. 45 (d) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(5)  Any licence granted under this section shall be non-exclusive and
shall not be transferable except to a person to whom the business or
part of the business in connection with which the rights under the
licence were exercised has been transferred.
[Sub-s. (5) substituted  by s. 45 (e) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(6)  . . . . . .
[Sub-s. (6) deleted by s. 45 ( f ) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(7)  In determining the conditions on which any licence is granted the
commissioner shall have regard to any relevant facts, including the
risks to be undertaken by the licensee, the research and development
undertaken by the patentee and the terms and conditions usually
stipulated in licence agreements in respect of the subject-matter of the
invention, between persons who voluntarily enter into such
agreements.
(7A)  The commissioner may order that a licence granted in terms of this
section shall be deemed to have been granted on the date on which
the application has been received by the registrar.
[Sub-s. (7A) inserted by s. 2 (b) of Act No. 76 of 1988.]
(8)  Any order of the commissioner under this section shall be made with a
view to avoiding the abuse found by the commissioner to have been
established.
(9)  The commissioner may amend or revoke any licence granted under
this section.
(10)  Subject to the conditions that may be attached to the licence, a
licensee under this section shall have the same rights and obligations
as any other licensee under a patent.
[Sub-s. (10) substituted by s. 45 (g) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(11)  . . . . . .
[Sub-s. (11) deleted by s. 45 (h) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(12)  . . . . . .
[Sub-s. (12) deleted by s. 45 (h) of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
(13)  (a)  The commissioner may, when ordering the grant of a licence
under subsection (4) (a), award costs against the applicant or
patentee concerned or any person opposing the relevant
application.
(b)  In so awarding costs, the commissioner shall inter alia have
regard to—
(i)  the nature and extent of the abuse found by him to
have been established; and
(ii)  whether the application for a licence under this section
might have been avoided by the grant, by the patentee
concerned to the applicant, of a voluntary licence on
reasonable terms.
(14)  For the purposes of this section the expression “patented article”
includes any composition of matter or any product of a patented
process or method or any product produced by a patented machine.
57.  Termination of contracts relating to licences.
(1)  Any contract, in so far as it relates to a licence under a patent to
make, use, exercise, offer to dispose of, dispose of or import a
patented invention, shall terminate on the date on which the patent
under which the licence was granted expires, is revoked or otherwise
ceases to protect such invention: Provided that where the contract
relates to licences under more than one patent, such part of the
contract as relates to any particular licence shall terminate when the
patent under which it was granted expires, is revoked or otherwise
ceases to protect the invention concerned, and that the contract as a
whole shall terminate when all the patents under which all such
licences were granted and which were in force at the time when the
contract became operative, expire, are revoked or otherwise cease to
protect the relevant inventions.
[Sub-s. (1) substituted by s. 10 of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
(2)  Nothing in this section shall affect any right to terminate a contract or a
condition in a contract independently of this section.
58.  Effect of licence.
In default of an agreement to the contrary—
(a)  a licence to make a patented article shall carry with it the right to use
or offer to dispose of or dispose of the patented article; and
[Para. (a) substituted by s. 11 of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
(b)  a licence to use or exercise a patented process shall carry with it the
right to make, use or offer to dispose of or dispose of the product of
the process.
[Para. (b) substituted by s. 11 of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
CHAPTER IX
ASSIGNMENT, ATTACHMENT AND HYPOTHECATION OF PATENTS AND
APPLICATIONS FOR PATENTS
59.  Assignment and devolution of patents by operation of law.
(1)  Subject to the provisions of section 39 (7), the rights vested in a
patentee or an applicant for a patent shall be capable of assignment
and of devolution by operation of law.
(2)  Any condition in a contract of employment which—
(a)  requires an employee to assign to his employer an invention
made by him otherwise than within the course and scope of his
employment; or
(b)  restricts the right of an employee in an invention made by him
more than one year after the termination of the contract of
employment, shall be null and void.
60.  Assignment, attachment and hypothecation of patent or application for
patent.
(1)  (a)  An applicant for a patent or a patentee may in writing assign
his rights in an application or patent to any other person.
(b)  Upon application in the prescribed manner and on payment of
the prescribed fee to the registrar, such assignment shall be
recorded in the register.
(c)  Unless such assignment is so recorded it shall not be valid,
except as between the parties thereto.
(2)  A patent or an application for a patent may be attached by recording
the warrant of execution or attachment order concerned in the register
in the prescribed manner.
(3)  Upon the discharge of any attachment, the person who caused such
warrant or order to be entered in the register shall cause that entry to
be deleted: Provided that any other interested person may apply to the
registrar to cause such entry to be deleted.
(4)  An attachment shall lapse on the expiry of a period of three years from
the date of recording it in terms of subsection (2), unless it is renewed
within that period.
(5)  The hypothecation of a patent or an application for a patent may on
application in the prescribed manner be entered in the register.
(6)  After the entry of an attachment or hypothecation in terms of this
section, the patentee or applicant for a patent shall not alienate or
encumber the attached or hypothecated patent or application for a
patent or grant any licences under such patent.
CHAPTER X
REVOCATING OF PATENTS
61.  Grounds for application for revocation of patent.
(1)  Any person may at any time apply in the prescribed manner for the
revocation of a patent on any of the following grounds only, namely—
(a)  that the patentee is not a person entitled under section 27 to
apply for the patent;
(b)  that the grant of the patent is in fraud of the rights of the
applicant or of any person under or through whom he claims;
(c)  that the invention concerned is not patentable under section
25;
(d)  that the invention as illustrated or exemplified in the complete
specification concerned cannot be performed or does not lead
to results and advantages set out in the complete specification;
(e)  that the complete specification concerned does not sufficiently
describe, ascertain and, where necessary, illustrate or
exemplify the invention and the manner in which it is to be
performed in order to enable the invention to be carried out by
a person skilled in the art of such invention;
[Para. (e) substituted by s. 12 of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
(f)  that the claims of the complete specification concerned are
not—
(i) clear; or
(ii)  fairly based on the matter disclosed in the specification;
(g)  that the prescribed declaration lodged in respect of the
application for the patent contains a false statement or
representation which is material and which the patentee knew
to be false at the time when the declaration was made;
(h)  that the application for the patent should have been refused in
terms of section 36;
(i)  that the complete specification claims as an invention a
microbiological process or a product thereof and that the
provisions of section 32 (6) have not been complied with.
(2)  An application for revocation shall be served on the patentee and
lodged with the registrar in the prescribed manner and shall thereafter
be dealt with in the manner prescribed.
(3)  The commissioner shall decide whether the patent shall be revoked or
whether and, if so, subject to what amendments, if any, of the
specification or claims thereof, the patent shall be upheld: Provided
that the commissioner shall not allow any amendment which is in
conflict with the provisions of section 51 (6) or (7): Provided further
that the commissioner may in the exercise of his discretion as to costs
take into consideration the conduct of the patentee in framing his
specification and claims and permitting them to remain as so framed.
62.  Patents comprising more than one invention.
A patent shall be granted for one invention only, but no person may in any
proceedings object to a patent on the ground that it comprises more than one
invention.
63.  After  revocation  on  ground  offraud inventor may obtain patent in
certain circumstances.
Where a patent is revoked on the ground of fraud, or a patent fraudulently
obtained has been surrendered and revoked, the commissioner may, on the
application of the inventor of the relevant invention or his assignee or legal
representative, made in accordance with the provisions of this Act, direct the
grant to him of a patent for the whole or any part of the invention, bearing the
same date as the patent so revoked.
64.  Voluntary surrender of patent.
(1)  A patentee may at any time, by giving notice in the prescribed manner
to the registrar, offer to surrender his patent, and the registrar shall
give notice of the offer to any person shown in the register to have an
interest in the patent.
(2)  Any interested person may within the time prescribed lodge in writing
with the registrar an objection to the surrender of the patent.
(3)  If no objection is so lodged or if any such objection is overruled by the
commissioner after having given the patentee and the objector an
opportunity to be heard, the patent shall be deemed to have been
revoked as from the date of receipt by the registrar of the offer of
surrender, and the registrar shall advertise the revocation of the patent
in the journal and make the necessary entries in the register.
(4)  An offer to surrender a patent shall not be considered as long as any
proceedings for infringement or revocation of that patent are pending
before the commissioner or in any court, except by consent of the
parties to such proceedings.
CHAPTER XI
INFRINGEMENT
65.  Proceedings for infringement.
(1)  Subject to the provisions of section 53 (3), proceedings for
infringement of a patent may be instituted by the patentee.
[Sub-s. (1) substituted by s. 13 of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
(2)  Proceedings for infringement shall be instituted and prosecuted in the
manner prescribed.
(3)  A plaintiff in proceedings for infringement shall be entitled to relief by
way of—
(a) an interdict;
(b)  delivery up of any infringing product or any article or product of
which the infringing product forms an inseparable part; and
(c) damages.
(4)  In any proceedings for infringement the defendant may counterclaim
for the revocation of the patent and, by way of defence, rely upon any
ground on which a patent may be revoked.
(5)  The plaintiff in any such proceedings shall, before he institutes the
proceedings, give notice thereof to every licensee under the patent in
question whose name is recorded in the register, and any such
licensee shall be entitled to intervene as a co-plaintiff.
[Sub-s. (5) substituted by s. 3 (b) of Act No. 76 of 1988.]
(6)  In lieu of damages the plaintiff may, at his or her option, be awarded
an amount calculated on the basis of a reasonable royalty which
would have been payable by a licensee or sub-licensee in respect of
the patent concerned.
[Sub-s. (6) added by s. 3 (c) of Act No. 76 of 1988 and substituted by s. 46 of
Act No. 38 of 1997.]
66.  Restriction on recovery of damages for infringement.
(1)  A patentee shall not be entitled to recover damages in respect of
infringement of a patent from a defendant who proves that at the date
of the infringement he was not aware, and had no reasonable means
of making himself aware, of the existence of the patent, and the
marking of an article with the word “patent” or “patented” or any word
or words expressing or implying that a patent has been obtained for
the article, stamped, engraved, impressed on or otherwise applied to
the article, shall not be deemed to constitute notice of the existence of
the patent unless such word or words are accompanied by the number
of the patent: Provided that nothing in this section shall affect any
proceedings for an interdict.
(2)  Any person who represents that any invention is patented, without
such representation disclosing the number of the patent concerned,
and from whom the number of such patent has been requested in
writing by registered post by any other person unaware of such
number, may not recover from suchother person damages, or obtain
an interdict against him, in respect of any infringement of such patent
by such other person, committed during the period commencing with
the representation and terminating two months after the date on which
such other person was notified in writing by the first-mentioned person
of the number of the patent concerned.
(3)  Any person who, having made a request referred to in subsection (2),
expends during the period referred to in that subsection any money,
time or labour with a view to making, using, exercising, offering to
dispose of, disposing of or importing the invention, may apply in the
manner prescribed to the commissioner for compensation in respect
of the money, time or labour reasonably so expended, and the
commissioner may issue such order as he or she may deem fit.
[Sub-s. (3) substituted by s. 14 of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
(4)  If proceedings are instituted in respect of infringement of a patent,
committed after the failure to pay any prescribed renewal fee within
the prescribed period, and before any extension of the period for such
payment, the commissioner may, if he thinks fit, refuse to award any
damages in respect of the infringement.
(5)  Where an amendment of a specification has been allowed under
section 51, the commissioner may in his discretion refuse to award
damages in respect of any acts of infringement committed before that
amendment was so allowed and, in exercising his discretion, the
commissioner may take into consideration the conduct of the patentee
in framing the specification and permitting it to remain in its
unamended form.
67.  Presumptions in relation to new substances.
(1)  A claim in respect of a patent for a process or an apparatus for
producing any product shall be construed as extending to such
product when produced by the process or apparatus claimed.
(2)  If the invention for which a patent is granted is a process for obtaining
a new product, the same product produced by a person other than the
proprietor of the patent or a licensee under that patent shall, unless
the contrary is proved, be deemed, in any proceedings, to have been
obtained by that process.
(3)  In considering whether anyperson has discharged the onus imposed
upon him by subsection (2), the commissioner shall not require him to
disclose any secret process used by him in producing the product
concerned, if it appears to the commissioner that it would be
unreasonable to do so.
68.  Relief for infringement of partially valid specification.
Where in any proceedings for infringement of a patent, the commissioner
finds that any claim in the complete specification in respect of which
infringement is alleged, is valid, but that any other claim therein is invalid, the
following provisions shall, notwithstanding anything contained in section
66 (5), apply, namely—
(a)  If a counterclaim for the revocation of the patent has been made in the
proceedings on the ground of the invalidity of any claim in the
specification, the commissioner may postpone the operation of any
order issued thereon for such time as may be required to enable the
patentee to effect any amendment of the specification pursuant to the
conditions imposed by the commissioner, who may attach such other
condition to any order to be issued on the counterclaim as he may
deem fit; and
(b)  when the specification has been amended in terms of paragraph (a),
the commissioner may, subject to such order as to costs as he may
issue and as to the date from which damages shall be calculated,
grant relief in respect of any claim which had, before the amendment,
been found to be valid and infringed, and in exercising his discretion
he may take into consideration the conduct of the patentee in inserting
in the specification those claims which had been found, before
amendment, to be invalid or permitting such claims to remain there.
69.  Declaration as to non-infringement.
(1)  A declaration that the use by any person of any process, or the
making or use or offer to dispose or disposal or importation of any
article by any person, does not or would not constitute an infringement
of a patent, may be made by the commissioner in proceedings
between that person and the patentee, notwithstanding that no
assertion to the contrary has been made by the patentee, if it is
proved—
(a)  that such person has applied in writing to the patentee for a
written acknowledgement to the effect of the declaration
claimed, and has furnished the patentee with full particulars of
the process or article in question; and
(b)  that the patentee has failed to give such an acknowledgement.  [Sub-s. (1) substituted by s. 15 of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
(2)  The costs of all parties to proceedings for a declaration instituted by
virtue of this section shall be awarded in such manner as the
commissioner may deem fit.
69A. Acts of non-infringement.
(1)  It shall not be an act of infringement of a patent to make, use,
exercise, offer to dispose of, dispose of or import the patented
invention on a non-commercial scale and solely for the purposes
reasonably related to the obtaining, development and submission of
information required under any law that regulates the manufacture,
production, distribution, use or sale of any product.
(2)  It shall not be permitted to possess the patented invention made,
used, imported or acquired in terms of subsection (1) for any purpose
other than for the obtaining, development or submission of information
as contemplated in that subsection.
[S. 69A inserted by s. 16 of Act No. 58 of 2002.]
70.  Remedy for groundless threats of infringement proceedings.
(1)  Where any person, by circular, advertisement or otherwise, threatens
any other person with proceedings for infringement of a patent, a
person aggrieved thereby may, whether the person making the threats
is or is not entitled to or interested in a patent, or an application for a
patent, institute proceedings against him and obtain a declaration to
the effect that such threats are unjustifiable and an interdict against
the continuance of such threats, and may recover such damages, if
any, as he has sustained thereby, unless the person making the
threats proves that the acts in respect of which the proceedings are
threatened, constitute or, if done, would constitute an infringement of a
patent in respect of a claim in the specification which is not shown by
the plaintiff to be invalid: Provided that a circular, advertisement or
communication addressed to any person, which comprises only a
notification of the existence of a particular patent upon which the
proprietor relies for protecting his interests shall not, by itself, be
deemed to be a threat of proceedings for infringement.
(2)  The defendant in any such proceedings may apply by way of a
counterclaim in the proceedings for any relief to which he would be
entitled in separate proceedings in respect of any infringement by the
plaintiff of the patent to which the threat relates.
71.  Special provisions as to vessels, aircraft and land vehicles of
convention countries.
(1)  Subject to the provisions of this section, the rights of a patentee shall
not be deemed to be infringed—
(a)  by the use on board a convention vessel of the patented
invention in the body of the vessel or in the machinery, tackle,
apparatus or other accessories thereof, if the vessel comes
into the territorial waters of the Republic, temporarily or
accidentally only, and the invention is used exclusively for the
actual needs of the vessel; or
(b)  by the use of the patented invention in the construction or
working of a convention aircraft or land vehicle or accessories
thereof if the aircraft or vehicle comes into the Republic
temporarily or accidentally only.
(2)  For the purposes of this section, vessels and aircraft shall be deemed
to be vessels and aircraft of the country in which they are registered,
and land vehicles shall be deemed to be vehicles of the country within
which the owners are ordinarily resident.
CHAPTER XII
EVIDENCE
72.  Register to be evidence.
(1)  The person appearing from the register to be the proprietor of or
applicant for a patent shall, subject to any right appearing from the
register to be vested in any other person, have power to deal with the
patent or the application for a patent as the owner thereof.
(2)  The provisions of subsection (1) shall not protect any person dealing
with a proprietor or applicant as aforesaid otherwise than as a bona
fide licensee, purchaser, hypothecary or judgment creditor and without
notice of any fraud on the part of such proprietor or applicant.
(3)  Except for the purposes of section 52, a document or instrument in
respect of which no entry has been made in the register in terms of
section 10, shall not be admitted in evidence in any proceedings in
proof of the title to a patent or application for a patent or to any interest
therein unless the commissioner or a court, on good cause shown,
otherwise directs.
(4)  Except for the purposes of section 52, no person who does not appear
from the register as having an interest in a patent or an application for
a patent, shall be allowed to prove such interest in any proceedings,
unless the commissioner or the court on good cause shown otherwise
directs.
(5)  The register shall be prima facie evidence of any matter directed or
authorized by this Act to be entered therein.
73.  Certificates of registrar to be prima facie evidence.
(1)  A certificate purporting to be signed by the registrar, to the effect that
any entry authorized by this Act to be made, has or has not been
made or that any other thing so authorized to be done has or has not
been done, shall be prima facie evidence of the matters specified in
that certificate.
(2)  A copy or an extract purporting to be a copy of an entry in the register
or of a document kept at the patent office or an extract from the
register or any such document, and purporting to be certified by the
registrar and to be sealed with the seal of the patent office, shall be
admitted in evidence before the commissioner and in all courts without
further proof or production of the originals.
(3)  If any document or book bears a date purporting to be the date on
which it became available to the public, that date shall, unless the
contrary is proved, be deemed to be the date on which it became so
available.
74.  Certification of validity.
(1)  If in any proceedings the validity of any claim in a complete
specification is in issue, the commissioner or the court, as the case
may be, finding that claim to be valid, may certify to that effect.
(2)  If in any subsequent proceedings the validity of that claim is
unsuccessfully attacked by any party, that party shall, unless the
commissioner or the court, as the case may be, otherwise directs, pay
to the other party his full costs, charges and expenses as between
patent agent or patent attorney or attorney and client so far as that
claim is concerned.
CHAPTER XIII
APPEALS TO COMMISSIONER AND THE COURT
75.  Appeal from registrar to commissioner.
An appeal shall lie from any decision of the registrar to the commissioner,
who shall hear the parties, and the registrar if he desires to be heard, and the
commissioner shall issue such order on the matter as he may deem fit.
76.  Appeal from the commissioner to the court.
(1)  Save as is otherwise provided in this Act, any party to proceedings
before the commissioner may appeal against any order or decision of
the commissioner pursuant to such proceedings.
[Sub-s. (1) substituted by s. 4 (a) of Act No. 76 of 1988.]
(2)  (a)  Every appeal shall be noted and prosecuted in the manner
prescribed by law for appeals against a civil order or decision
of a single judge, and sections 20 and 21 of the Supreme
Court Act, 1959 (Act No. 59 of 1959), shall apply mutatis
mutandis.
[Para. (a) substituted by s. 4 of Act No. 44 of 1986 and by s. 4 (b) of
Act No. 76 of 1988.]
(b)  The court may in relation to any such appeal—
(i)  confirm, vary or set aside the order or decision
appealed against, as justice may require;
(ii)  if the record does not furnish sufficient evidence or
information for the determination of the appeal, remit
the matter to the commissioner with instructions in
regard to the taking of further evidence or the setting
out of further information;
(iii)  take any other course which may lead to the just,
speedy and as far as may be possible inexpensive
settlement of the case; and
(iv)  make such order as to costs as justice may require.
(3) to (5) inclusive . . . . . .
77.  Agreement to accept commissioner’s decision as final.
In any proceedings before the commissioner, the parties may agree in writing
prior to the hearing thereof to submit the matter in dispute for final decision to
the commissioner and may apply to him accordingly in the prescribed
manner, and where there is such an agreement the order or decision of the
commissioner shall be binding on the said parties and final and conclusive
and shall not be subject to appeal.
CHAPTER XIV
ACQUISITION OF RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS AND PATENTS BY THE STATE
78.  Acquisition of invention or patent by State.
The Minister may, on behalf of the State, acquire, on such terms and
conditions as may be agreed upon, any invention or patent.
79.  Assignment of certain patents to the State.
(1)  The proprietor of an invention relating to any armaments as defined in
section 1 of the Armaments Development and Production Act, 1968
(Act No. 57 of 1968), shall, if called upon to do so by the Minister of
Defence, assign the invention or the patent obtained or to be obtained
for the invention to that Minister on behalf of the State.
(2)  The assignment and any agreements therein contained shall be valid
and effectual and may be enforced by appropriate proceedings in the
name of the Minister of Defence.
(3)  Where an invention has been so assigned, the Minister of Defence
may, by notice in writing to the registrar, direct that the invention and
the manner in which it is to be performed shall be kept secret.
(4)  Every application, specification, amendment of specification or
drawing received at the patent office relating to any invention in
respect of which notice in terms of subsection (3) has been given,
shall be sealed up by the registrar and the contents of such
application, specification, drawing or other document shall not be
divulged without the written permission of the Minister of Defence.
(5)  The patent for any such invention may be made out in the name of the
proprietor and sealed, but such patent shall be delivered to the
Minister of Defence and not to such proprietor and shall be the
property of the State, and no proceedings shall lie for the revocation of
the patent.
(6)  The communication of any such invention to the Minister of Defence
or to any person authorized by him to inquire into the invention shall
not, nor shall anything done for the purpose of the inquiry by such
person, be deemed to be publication or use of the invention so as to
prejudice the grant or validity of any patent for the invention.
(7)  The Minister of Defence may by notice in writing to the registrar direct
that any invention directed to be kept secret need no longer be kept
secret, and thereupon the specification and drawings may be
published.
(8)  The said Minister shall pay to the proprietor of the invention or patent
such reasonable compensation as may be agreed upon or as may, in
default of agreement, be determined by arbitration or, if the parties so
agree, by the commissioner.
80. Minister may require inventions to be kept secret in certain
circumstances.
(1)  If the Minister is of opinion that in the national interest an application,
specification, drawing or other document relating to any invention
should be kept secret, he may order the registrar to keep the invention
secret and to notify the applicant accordingly, and if any Minister of
State desires to acquire such invention on behalf of the State, the
provisions of section 79 shall as far as applicable apply, and for that
purpose the reference in section 79 to the Minister of Defence shall be
deemed to be a reference to the said Minister of State.
(2)  Whenever any order issued by the Minister under this section is
withdrawn, any steps which were prior to the date of that order taken
under this Act in connection with the application which was the subject
of that order, and which were interrupted in consequence of that order,
may be proceeded with as if the interruption had not occurred, and
any period which may have elapsed between the date on which that
order was lodged with the registrar and the date of withdrawal thereof
shall not be taken into account in the computation of any period of
time prescribed by or under this Act.
(3)  If the proprietor of an invention has suffered loss or damage by reason
of that invention having been kept secret in pursuance of an order
under subsection (1), the Minister shall pay to him such reasonable
compensation as may be agreed upon or as may, in default of
agreement, be determined by arbitration or, if the parties so agree, by
the commissioner.
CHAPTER XV
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
81.  Penalties for making false entries in the register, or making, producing
or tendering false entries or copies.
Any person who—
(a)  makes or causes to be made a false entry in the register;   (b)  makes or causes to be made a writing falsely purporting to be a copy  of an entry in the register; or
(c)  produces or tenders or causes to be produced or tendered as
evidence any such entry or copy thereof,
knowing it to be false, shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction
liable to a fine not exceeding R1 000 or to imprisonment for a period
not exceeding 12 months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
82.  Penalty  for  making  false  statements for the purpose of deceiving or
influencing the commissioner, the registrar or an officer.
Any person who—
(a)  for the purpose of deceiving the registrar or the commissioner or any
officer in the administration of the provisions of this Act; or
(b)  for the purpose of procuring or influencing the doing or omission of
anything in relation to this Act or any matter thereunder, makes a false
statement or representation, knowing the same to be false, shall be
guilty of an offence and on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding
R1 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months or to
both such fine and such imprisonment.
83.  Prohibition of trafficking in patents by officers or employees in patent
office.
(1)  Any officer or employee of the patent office who buys, sells, acquires
or traffics in any invention or patent or any right under a patent, shall
be guilty of an offence and on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding
R500.
(2)  Every purchase, sale or acquisition, and every assignment of any
invention or patent, by or to any such officer or employee shall be null
and void.
(3)  Nothing in this section contained shall apply to the inventor or to any
acquisition by bequest or devolution by operation of law.
84.  Penalty for improper use of words “patent office”.
Any person who uses on his place of business or on any document issued by
him or otherwise the words “patent office” or any other words suggesting that
his place of business is officially connected with or is the patent office, shall
be guilty of an offence and on conviction liable to a fine not exceeding R100
or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or to both such
fine and such imprisonment.
85.  Penalties for certain false representations.
(1)  Any person who—
(a)  falsely represents that any article is a patented article; or
(b)  represents that any article is the subject of a patent
application, knowing that no such application has been made
or that an application made in respect thereof has been
refused or withdrawn or has lapsed,
shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction liable to a fine
not exceeding R1 000 or to imprisonment for a period not
exceeding 12 months or to both such fine and such
imprisonment.
(2)  If any person disposes of any article on which is stamped, engraved or
impressed or to which is otherwise applied the word “patent”,
“patented” or any other word expressing or implying that the article is
patented, or to which any marking is applied in any manner
expressing or implying that the article is patented, he shall be deemed
for the purposes of this section to represent that the article is a
patented article.
(3)  The provisions of subsection (2) shall not apply to a person who
disposes of articles in good faith in the ordinary course of trade
provided, when called upon to do so, he discloses the identity of the
person from whom he acquired the article in question.
(4)  Any person who is of the opinion that he is prejudiced by a
representation referred to in subsection (1) (a) or (b), may apply to the
commissioner for an interdict against the continuation of that
representation.
[S. 85 substituted by s. 8 of Act No. 67 of 1983.]
CHAPTER XVI
MISCELLANEOUS
86.  Documents may be sent by post.
Any application, notice or document authorized or required in terms of this Act
to be lodged, made or given at the patent office or to the registrar or any other
person, may be delivered by hand or sent through the post.
87.  Address for service.
(1)  With every application, notice or other document authorized or
required in terms of this Act to be lodged or given, the applicant or
other person concerned shall furnish in the prescribed manner an
address within the Republic as an address for service, which shall for
the purposes of this Act be deemed to be the address of such
applicant or other person, and all documents in relation to such
application, notice or other document may be served by leaving them
at or sending them to such address for service.
(2)  Any address for service may be changed by notice in the prescribed
manner.
88.  Calculation of periods of time.
(1)  Where any period of time is specified by this Act as running from the
doing of any act, it shall be reckoned as commencing on the day next
following the doing of that act.
(2)  Whenever the last day on which, in terms of this Act, any act may or is
required to be done or any document may or is required to be lodged,
falls on a day on which the patent office is closed, that act may be
done or that document may be lodged on the next following day on
which the patent office is open for the transaction of business.
89.  Condonation or correction of irregularities in procedure.
The registrar or the commissioner may authorize the condonation or
correction of any irregularity in procedure in any proceedings before him,
provided such condonation or correction is not detrimental to the interests of
any person.
90.  Certain conditions excluded from contracts.
(1)  Any condition in a contract relating to the sale of a patented article or
to a licence under a patent of which the effect will be—
(a)  to prohibit or restrict the purchaser or licensee from purchasing
or using any article or class of articles, whether patented or
not, supplied or owned by any person other than the seller or
licensor or his nominee;
(b)  to prohibit or restrict the licensee from using any article or
process not protected by the patent;
(c)  to require the purchaser or licensee to acquire from the seller,
licensor or his nominee any article or class of articles not
protected by the patent;
(d)  to require or induce the purchaser to observe a specified
minimum resale price in respect of any article or class of
articles protected by the patent; or
(e)  to prohibit or restrict the making, using, exercising or disposing
of the invention concerned in any country in which the
invention is not patented,
shall be null and void.
(2)  Nothing in this section shall—
(a)  affect any condition in a contract whereby a person is
prohibited from selling any goods other than those of a
particular person; or
(b)  affect any condition in a contract for the lease of or a licence to
use a patented article, whereby the lessor or licensor reserves
to himself or his nominee the right to supply such new parts of
the patented article, other than ordinary articles of commerce,
as may be required to put or keep it in repair.
91.  Regulations.
The Minister may make regulations—
(a)  with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance, prescribing the
matters in respect of which fees shall be payable, and the tariff of such
fees;
(b)  prescribing the tariff of fees which shall be allowed on taxation in
connection with proceedings before the registrar or the commissioner;
(c)  prescribing the procedure in any proceedings before the registrar or
the commissioner;
(d)  prescribing the service of notices and other documents required in
terms of this Act to be served in connection with proceedings before
the registrar or the commissioner;
(e)  providing for the conduct and administration of the patent office,
including the keeping and preservation of any records in the patent
office, the removal from such office and preservation in any other
place of such records, and as to the circumstances in which any such
records may be destroyed;
( f )  prescribing the contents of any application, notice or form provided for
in this Act;
(g)  as to any other matter required or permitted by this Act to be
prescribed by regulation; and generally, as to any matter which he or
she considers necessary or expedient to prescribe in order to carry
out, or give effect to, the Patent Cooperation Treaty or that the
purposes of this Act may be achieved.
[S. 91 amended by s. 47 of Act No. 38 of 1997.]
92.  Amends section 16bis (1) of the Universities Act, No. 61 of 1955, by
deleting paragraphs (c) and (g).
93.  Amends section 16duodec (1) (a) of the Universities Act, No. 61 of 1955,
as follows:
paragraph (a) deletes subparagraph (v); and paragraph (v) substitutes
subparagraph (vi).
94.  Amends section 16tredec of the Universities Act, No. 61 of 1955, by
deleting subsection (2).
95.  Repeal of laws.
Subject to the provisions of sections 3, 5 (2), 7 (2), 10 (4), 20 (2), 22 (1) and
30 (3), the laws specified in the Schedule are hereby repealed to the extent
set out in the third column of that Schedule.
96.  Short title and commencement.
This Act shall be called the Patents Act, 1978, and shall come into operation
on 1 January 1979, except section 21, which shall come into operation on
promulgation of this Act, except section 32 (6), which shall come into
operation on a date fixed by the State President by proclamation in the
Gazette.
Schedule
LAWS REPEALED
No. and year of law  Short title      Extent  of  repeal
Act No. 37 of 1952  Patents Act, 1952     The whole
Act No. 28 of 1953  Patents Amendment Act, 1953   The whole
Act No. 82 of 1959  Universities Amendment Act, 1959   Sections 14 and
15
Act No. 50 of 1960  Patents Amendment Act, 1960   The whole
Act No. 61 of 1963  Patents Amendment Act, 1963   The whole
Act No. 80 of 1964  General Law Amendment Act, 1964  Sections 16, 17,
18 and 19
Act No. 54 of 1967  Patents Amendment Act, 1967   The whole
PATENTS AMENDMENT ACT
NO. 10 OF 2001
[ASSENTED TO 13 JULY, 2001]
[DATE OF COMMENCEMENT: 18 JULY, 2001]
(English text signed by the Acting President)
ACT
To amend the Patents Act, 1978, so as to extend the right of a party to any
proceedings before the commissioner to be represented thereat by an attorney who
has been granted the right of appearance in the High Court in terms of the Right of
Appearance in Courts Act, 1995; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
BE IT ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, as follows:—
1.  Amends section 19 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (3).
2.  Short title.—This Act is called the Patents Amendment Act, 2001.
PATENTS AMENDMENT ACT
NO. 76 OF 1988
[ASSENTED TO 33 JUNE, 1988]
[DATE OF COMMENCEMENT: 6 JULY, 1988]
(English text signed by the State President)
ACT
To amend the Patents Act, 1978, so as to adapt the designation of the Minister
concerned; to further regulate the granting ofcompulsory licences; to make further
provision in connection with the proceedings which may be instituted by a plaintiff for
infringement of his patent; and to furtherregulate the procedure for an appeal against
the decision of a commissioner of patents; and to provide for matters connected
therewith.
1.  Amends section 2 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting the
definition of “Minister”.
2.  Amends section 56 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, as follows:—
paragraph (a) inserts subsection (1A); and paragraph (b) inserts subsection
(7A).
3.  Amends section 65 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, as follows:—
paragraph (a) substitutes subsection (3);paragraph (b) substitutes subsection
(5); and paragraph (c) adds subsection (6).
4.  Amends section 76 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, as follows:—
paragraph (a) substitutes subsection (1);paragraph (b) substitutes subsection
(2) (a); and paragraph (c) deletes subsections (3), (4) and (5).
5.  Short title.—This Act shall be called the Patents Amendment Act, 1988.
PATENTS AMENDMENT ACT
NO. 67 OF 1983
[ASSENTED TO 20 MAY, 1983]
[DATE OF COMMENCEMENT: 1 JUNE, 1983]
(Afrikaans text signed by the State President)
ACT
To amend the Patents Act, 1978, so as to make other provision in respect of claims
for priority and priority dates in the case of certain applications for patents; to further
regulate the payment of certain fees in the case of patents of addition becoming
independent patents; to make further provision relating to inspection by the public of
certain applications for patents; to further regulate the payment of renewal fees for
patents; to further regulate the amendment of specifications; and to extend the
provisions relating to offences; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
1.  Amends section 31 (1) of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, as follows:—
paragraph (a) substitutes subparagraph (i); and paragraph (b) deletes
subparagraph (ii).
2.  Amends section 33 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, as follows:—
paragraph (a) substitutes subsection (1); and paragraph (b) deletes
subsection (4).
3.  Amends section 39 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (4).
4.  Amends section 43 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (3).
5.  Amends section 46 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (1).
6.  Amends section 47 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (1).
7.  Amends section 51 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, as follows:—
paragraph (a) substitutes subsection (4); paragraph (b) substitutes in
subsection (6) the words preceding paragraph (a); and paragraph (c)
substitutes subsection (7).
8.  Substitutes section 85 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978.
9.  Short title.—This Act shall be called the Patents Amendment Act, 1983.
PATENTS AMENDMENT ACT
NO. 14 OF 1979
[ASSENTED TO 6 MARCH, 1979]
[DATE OF COMMENCEMENT: 14 MARCH, 1979]
(English text signed by the State President)
ACT
To amend the Patents Act, 1978, so as to further regulate the extension of the terms
of certain patents; and to effect a certain textual improvement; and to provide for
incidental matters.
1.  (1)  Amends section 3 (1) of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by
substituting paragraph (d).
(2)  Any extension of the term of a patent in terms of section 3 (1) (d) of
the principal Act granted after 30 January 1979 for a longer period
than five years, shall be deemed to have been granted for a period not
exceeding five years.
2.  Amends section 31 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (5).
3.  Short title.—This Act shall be called the Patents Amendment Act, 1979.
PATENTS AMENDMENT ACT
NO. 44 OF 1986
[ASSENTED TO 22 APRIL, 1986]
[DATE OF COMMENCEMENT: 30 APRIL, 1986]
(Unless otherwise indicated)
(English text signed by the State President)
ACT
To amend the Patents Act, 1978, so as to further provide which applications,
received from convention countries, shall for the purposes of section 31 be regarded
as applications which have been made in convention countries; to provide for an
additional manner of identifying micro-organisms in the case of claims to certain
inventions; to further regulate the amendment of specifications; and to make new
provision in relation to an appeal from the commissioner of patents to the Supreme
Court; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
1.  Amends section 31 (4) of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
paragraph (a).
2.  Amends section 32 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (6) (date of commencement: 14 July 1997).
3.  Amends section 51 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, as follows:—
paragraph (a) substitutes subsection (8); and paragraph (b) substitutes
subsection (9).
4.  Amends section 76 (2) of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
paragraph (a).
5.  Short title.—This Act shall be called the Patents Amendment Act, 1986.
PATENTS AMENDMENT ACT
NO. 58 OF 2002
[ASSENTED TO 30 DECEMBER, 2002]
[DATE OF COMMENCEMENT: 15 JANUARY, 2003]
(English text signed by the President)
ACT
To amend the Patents Act, 1978, so as to bring certain provisions in line with the
Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; to bring
provisions regarding the processing and amendment of applications under the Patent
Co-operation Treaty in line with other applications; to effect technical corrections to
some provisions and clarify others; to provide for the non-infringement of a patent
under certain circumstances; and to provide for matters incidental thereto.
BE IT ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, as follows:—
1.  Amends section 32 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (3).
2.  Amends section 33 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (2).
3.  Substitutes section 43A of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978.
4.  Substitutes section 43D of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978.
5.  Amends section 43E of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, as follows:—
paragraph (a) substitutes subsection (1) (b); paragraph (b) substitutes
subsection (2); and paragraph (c) adds subsection (3).
6.  Substitutes section 43F of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978.
7.  Amends section 45 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (2).
8.  Amends section 48 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, as follows:—
paragraph (a) substitutes subsection (1) (b); paragraph (b) substitutes
subsection (1) (c) (ii); and paragraph (c) substitutes subsection (2).
9.  Amends section 49 (2) of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
paragraph (a).
10.  Amends section 57 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (1).
11.  Amends section 58 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
paragraphs (a) and (b).
12.  Amends section 61 (1) of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
paragraph (e).
13.  Amends section 65 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (1).
14.  Amends section 66 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (3).
15.  Amends section 69 of the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978, by substituting
subsection (1).
16.  Inserts section 69A in the Patents Act, No. 57 of 1978.
17.  Short title.—This Act is called the Patents Amendment Act, 2002.

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