Business: South African Patents Available to the Public for the First
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It has taken months of preparation and finally, as promised, on Tuesday 1 September CIPRO officially launched the South African patents database online at http://patentsearch.cipro.gov.za.
The service currently provides access to the full original documents of South African granted patents for the period of 1984 to 2005. Users have the options to peruse the abstract, the description, claims or drawings of the patents they have searched for. The bibliographic data of all patent applications presently on our system are also available. We are glad to present this unique opportunity worldwide and most of all to our local entrepreneurs.
This project reflects our efforts towards our strategic goal to ensure accessibility to our services. As CIPRO is mandated to register companies and intellectual property and maintain the respective documentation under the applicable legislation, CIPRO is the custodian of the South African patent documentation. In order to improve accessibility to its services, CIPRO has undertaken to create a South African Electronic Patent Database. The project consists of three phases defined by time periods. Phase one includes the digitalisation of all granted patents in force from 1988 to 2008. Phase two will cover the patents for the period 1961 to 1987 and all the remaining patents before 1961 will be processed during phase three. We will expand the coverage on an ongoing basis in order to speed up the process.
“CIPRO is convinced that anybody who logs onto the CIPRO database will be impressed by the creative and viable patents that have been registered with CIPRO over the years,” said Keith Sendwe, CEO of CIPRO.
CIPRO’s core focus is assisting you in protecting all four domains of intellectual property, namely patents, trade marks, designs and copyright. But this is not all that CIPRO values, we also realise the need to showcase our South African talent on an international forum. “We trust that this commitment goes to show just how passionate we are about our local entrepreneurs,” says Sendwe.
As part of a cooperation agreement with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), CIPRO is supplying scanned images of South African patents to WIPO. WIPO will perform an Optical Character Recognition (OCR), index the bibliographic information and make the South African patent collection available on their electronic patent search facility “PatentScope” under “National Patent Collections”. The big event, according to our information from WIPO, is scheduled to take place later this month. Due to the OCR process, full text search will be also available.
“The launch of this new system will mean that the rest of the world can now see what talent lies within our country but will also inspire South African entrepreneurs and fuel their creative fires. CIPRO encourages all aspiring business people and inventors to visit the ‘National Collections’ page on the WIPO website at www.wipo.int to view this exciting new initiative any moment now! Your patent may be the next to be posted on the website,” concludes Sendwe.
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