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: 2020-10-01

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. 

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 Stopfakes.gov, or contact ITA’s Office of Intellectual Property Rights Director, Stevan Mitchell at Stevan.Mitchell@trade.gov.
Guidelines appear here:    
https://www.trade.gov/protect-intellectual-property

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 

Corruption 

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 on order to minimize risks of new partnerships and transactions. Guidelines appear here:
https://www.export.gov/article?id=Corruption