Skip to main content



A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention. Invention is defined as a solution to a specific problem in the field of technology, and the invention may be, or may relate to a product or a process that provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem in the field of technology.

Patents offer exclusive rights for a specific period of time, in which the patent owner has the right to prevent or stop others from  commercially exploiting the patented invention. Patent protection means that the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed, imported or sold by others without the patent owners consent. The exclusive rights provide incentives for the patent holder to undertake further research and development.

Without patent protection, many people might not take the risks of investing their time and money to devise new products. It is important that new products become available on the market continuously; otherwise without
them the economy would quickly stagnate.

A patent describes new aspect of a technology in clear and specific terms and is available for anyone to read. Patents are made public specifically to promote the sharing of knowledge. As such they are important resources for entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors, academics and others who need to keep up with development in their fields.

Download Patent Forms here

Download Patent Fees here

Inventions in any field of technology can be patented. In general, any device, substance, method or process can be patented. Any new or improved product or process in the following broad sections of technology can be patented so long as they meet the requirements of the law.

  1. Human necessities, including: agriculture, foodstuffs; tobacco; personal or domestic articles; health; life-saving; amusement.
  2. Performing operations including: transporting, separating, mixing, shaping, printing, microstructural technology; nanotechnology
  3. Chemistry and metallurgy
  4. Textiles, paper and other flexible materials
  5. Fixed constructions including: building, earth or rock drilling and mining
  6. Mechanical engineering; lighting; heating; weapons; blasting, engines and pumps
  7. Physics
  8. Electricity


The following are not regarded as inventions and are excluded from patent protection by law:

  1. Discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods
  2. Schemes, rules or methods for doing business, performing purely
  3. Methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, as well as diagnostic methods practised in relation thereof, except products for use in any such methods
  4. Mere presentation of information
  5. Public health related methods of use or uses of any molecule or other substance for the prevention or treatment of any disease which may designated as a serious health hazard or as a life-threatening disease.
  6. Non-Functional details of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation
  7. Plant varieties, but not parts thereof or products of biotechnological processes.
  8. Inventions contrary to public order, morality, public health and safety, principles of humanity, and environmental conservation.


There are two types of patent applications, a provisional application and a complete application.
A provisional application gives you the earliest possible priority date and signals your intention to file a complete application within the next 12 months. You are required to file a complete application within one year from the date you filed the provisional application and the complete application. If you do not file a complete application as indicated, the provisional application is considered withdrawn.

A patent application should contain the following elements:

  1. a request on Form IP 3;
  2. a detailed description of the invention;
  3. one or more claims;
  4. one or more drawings (where necessary); and
  5. an abstract


Where the patent application is filed on paper, the request must be made on a printed form (Form IP 3) to be filled in with the required information. A filled in sample and a blank copy of the Form IP3 are available here.
Downloadable forms, which can be completed using a computer are available here.

The description should disclose the invention in full, clear, concise and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the field of the invention to evaluate and understand it.

The description should have the following heading:

  1. title of the invention,
  2. technical field to which the invention relates
  3. Back ground information of the invention
  4. Brief description of the drawings (where drawings are necessary)
  5. Detailed description of the invention


The claim or claims should define the matter for which protection is sought and should be clear and concise and fully supported by the description. In defining the matter for which protection is sought, claims should set out the technical features that are necessary to define the subject matter of the invention.

With respect to the technical features of the invention, the claims should not refer to the description or drawings. In particular they should not rely on references such as, "as described in part…....of the description, or "as illustrated in figure……. of the drawing".

The claims be should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals, for example, 1,2,3 and so on.


Drawings should comply with the following:

  1. They should not be coloured;
  2. The lines should be well-defined and drawn with the aid of drafting instruments;
  3. The drawings should be such that all details can be distinguished without difficulty when the drawings are reproduced at two thirds their actual size;
  4. Cross sections should be indicated by hatching that does not impede the clear reading of the reference signs and reading lines;
  5. If the drawings show a feature mentioned in the description, that feature should be denoted in the drawings by a reference sign and that reference sign should be used throughout the application to denote that feature.


The abstract should contain the title of the invention, and it is basically a summary of the disclosure of the invention as defined in the description. The summary should indicate the technical field to which the invention relates and the principal use or uses of the invention.

The abstract should be drafted in a way that it can be used efficiently for searching in the relevant technical field and so that it is possible for a reader to assess, from the abstract, whether the description should be consulted.

The abstract should not include statements about the merits or value of the invention or about uses that are speculative.

Where applicable, the abstract should include the formula that best characterizes the invention. The abstract should not contain more than one hundred and fifty words.