South Africa - Country Commercial Guide
Protecting Intellectual Property

Provides advice on IPR protection, including information on the registration of patents and trademarks.

Last published date: 2023-05-06

South Africa has a well-developed intellectual property rights environment, and enforcement by authorities is generally effective.  Patent law is very well developed.  Please see the Investment Climate Statement (ICS) section of this report for details on protecting intellectual property in South Africa.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office In any foreign market companies should consider several general principles for effective management of their intellectual property. For background on these principles please link to the following article on Protecting Intellectual Property and, or contact ITA’s Office of Intellectual Property Rights Director, Stevan Mitchell

Guidelines appear here:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a team leader for the Sub-Saharan Africa region:

JoEllen Urban

Senior Trade Advisor

Office of Policy and International Affairs

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Tel:  571-272-8498

Email:  JoEllen.urban@USPTO.GOV

To access South Africa’s ICS, which includes information on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, visit the U.S. Department of State Investment Climate Statement website.


Please see the section on corruption in the Investment Climate Statement of this document. New-to-market U.S. companies should insist on extensive due diligence to minimize risks of new partnerships and transactions.