How do I manage my IP?

The value of intangible assets should not be underestimated – but they must be protected by law.

It is essential that legal protection be obtained to ensure that you, the creator of the design and the investor who finances development of the design or invention, will derive the full commercial benefit of the design or invention. Your new product design may entail features that qualify for protection under one or more of the four domains of law that govern intellectual property in South Africa and abroad.

In South Africa, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), is responsible for the registration of patents, trade marks, designs and copyright. CIPC keeps records of all patents, trade marks, designs and copyright that are lodged in South Africa, including details of the owners/proprietors. CIPC came about after a merger between the Office of Companies and Intellectual Property Enforcement (OCIPE) and the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) in May 2011.

Researchers and inventors can do searches at CIPC 's Paper Based Disclosure Centre. Application forms for the different kinds of protection are available at these offices or can be requested from CIPC by mail or telephone. These can also be downloaded from the CIPC website at

Learn more on how to manage your IP

How to manage your Trade Mark
How to manage your Patent
How to manage your Design
How to manage your Copyright