IAP: Next Stop South Africa!

November 29, 2017

On November 16, 2017, the Inventor Assistance Program (IAP) officially launched in South Africa. The Program will help, in particular, the estimated 2000 South African inventors who file a provisional patent application independently, without any professional assistance, often due to a lack of financial means.

Only half of those 2000 or so patent applications move forward to the next step in the patent grant procedure and become a complete application. With access to pro bono legal assistance through the IAP, the number of successful applications is set to increase.

Experience suggests many applications fail because of a lack of professional support.  With the implementation of the IAP we truly hope this statistic will improve and that more South African inventors will get the chance to obtain a patent, to make sure nobody is left behind.

Ms. Tomoko Miyamoto, Head, Patent Law Section, WIPO


The ceremony to officially launch the IAP took place in Pretoria and was attended by more than 60 participants, among whom were inventors, government officials, and local patent attorneys, as well as representatives of local SMEs and R&D sector.

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Ms. Katherine McFie, Legal & Compliance Officer, Novartis, South Africa (Photo: WIPO)
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Mr. Trod Lehong, Senior Manager, Patents and Design, and IAP coordinator, Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) (Photo: WIPO)
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Ms. Giulia Ragonesi, Associate Legal Officer, Patent Law Division, WIPO (Photo: WIPO)