Increase In Patent & Design Fees – Effective: 1 July 2019

Increase In Patent & Design Fees – Effective: 1 July 2019


An increase in official fees for all South African patent cases and design cases will be introduced next month.  South African trade mark charges remain unchanged.

Different Charging Scales

For the first time, different charges will apply depending on the size of the proprietor. Two scales apply:

  • Small, Medium & Micro Entities (SMMEs) will pay a lower fee; while
  • Corporate Entities will pay a significantly higher fee.

Any entity that is not a SMME, or any applicant that does not state its status, is automatically regarded as a Corporate Entity.  There is no clear definition yet on what qualifies as a “SMME”, and this will vary depending on your industry sector. For now, we believe that to qualify as an SMME, at a minimum you must have:


  • fewer than 100 – 200 employees (in all branches & subsidiaries); AND
  • an annual turnover of less than ZAR4m – ZAR5m; AND
  • total gross assets (excluding fixed property) less than ZAR2m – ZAR18m.


As soon as there is more clarity on the definition, we will communicate this to you.


The Major Cost Increases

The most significant cost increases (averaged) are these:

Aspect Current Fee NEW Fee       (SMME) NEW Fee (Corporate)
New Patent Application R590 R590 R1,100
Annual Patent Renewal R130 R130 R1,400
New Design Application R240 R240 R540
Annual Design Renewal R120 R120 R1,000


Annual Increases

It has also been advised that government charges will now increase by 5% annually, with no distinction between SMMEs and Corporate Entities.


Suggestion To Avoid The Increases

It is possible to pay all patent and design renewals in advance, even for pending applications. This could save Corporate Entities several thousand Dollars over the lifetime of a patent. We invite interested clients to contact us before July 2019 if you wish to take advantage of this discount.


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