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DTI Shines Light on Intellectual Property

April 12, 2019

Department of Trade and Industry

12 April 2019

Government is striving to strike an appropriate balance between granting monopoly rights to support innovation, disseminating the knowledge and addressing socio-economic challenges in South Africa.

The trade and industry minister, Rob Davies, announced this during an address at a recent two-day Intellectual Property and Technology Commercialisation Colloquium held in Pretoria.

“One of the policy instruments that Government is introducing to address the above, is a substantive search and examination system of patents. The substantive search and examination system will be implemented on a needs bases, because there are too many cases of ever greening of patents,” said Minister Davies.

The minister also pointed out that government was focused on making it easier for inventors to patent their products through the Inventor Assistant Program (IAP).

“The IAP is CIPC administered program that assists inventors, who meet the qualifying criteria, to obtain patent protection for their inventions through the services of pro bono patent attorneys.”

In a statement, the trade and industry department also indicated that a programme was being developed incorporating an incentive grant.

It will also “provide assistance and supportive environment so that people can find partners, find ways of taking these ideas into the market place and finding the right partners and ensuring that these innovations (are) operated and commercialised here in South Africa”.

Meanwhile, the department recently announced that the application window for the Agro Processing Support Scheme (APSS) will be extended from 1 April 2019 until further notice.

The APSS aims to stimulate investment by local agro-processing / beneficiation (agri-business) enterprises.

Investments need to show that they can achieve certain outcomes such as increased capacity, employment creation, modernised machinery and equipment, competitiveness and productivity improvement and broadening participation.

The scheme offers a 20% to a 30% cost-sharing grant to a maximum of R20 million over a two-year investment period, with a last claim to be submitted within six months after the final approved milestone.

Detail can be viewed at: http://www.thedti.gov.za/financial_assistance/financial_incentive.jsp?id=69&subthemeid=25.