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Claim amendments in South Africa


Dale Verster

In South Africa there is no substantive examination of the claims of a patent application. Once the required formalities of an application have been met, it proceeds to acceptance, publication and grant.

This leaves a granted South African patent vulnerable to attack by third parties should the claims be incorrectly drawn or should they be too wide in scope in the light of examination in other jurisdictions.

It is therefore advisable to consider amendment of South African claims subsequent to a successful examination in one or more examining jurisdictions. Under the South African Patents Act, a patent may be amended at any time before or after grant. However, after grant no amendment is allowable if:

The effect of the amendment would be to introduce new matter or matter not in substance disclosed in the specification before amendment;

South Africa Patents Act, pharmaceutical, patentees,


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