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Eswatini Patents

Patent & Design Protection

Eswatini patents have a duration of 20 years from date of filing. Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) is a member of PCT and the Paris Convention. PCT National Phase entries provide a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect intellectual property in each of its contracting states.

The Patent Cooperation Treaty  (PCT) is an international patent law treaty that provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions in all of its contracting states. A single filing of an international application is made with a Receiving Office (RO) in one language. It then results in a search performed by an International Searching Authority (ISA), accompanied by a written opinion regarding the patentability of the invention, which is the subject of the application. The PCT National Phase entry essentially leads to a standard national or regional patent application, which may be granted or rejected according to applicable law, in each jurisdiction in which a patent is desired. 

Eswatini Patents may be filed through the ARIPO union where the applicant may file a single application designating the specific contracting states either directly at ARIPO or through a contracting state. The relevant protocol on Patents for ARIPO is the Harare Protocol, which authorises ARIPO to register Patents on behalf of Harare Protocol Contracting States.

Types of Patents:

  • Registration of a granted South African patent
  • ARIPO application or ARIPO Regional Phase PCT application

Filing Requirements:

A granted UK patent will automatically extend to Eswatini without re-registration. It is also possible to register a granted South African patent to obtain patent rights in Eswatini. An ARIPO application can also be filed designating Eswatini however, there is no guarantee that an ARIPO patent will be enforceable.

Granted South African patent:

  • Simply signed Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
  • Certified copy of the South African patent (if applicable) (required upon filing)

Non-PCT and PCT applications:

  • ARIPO applications can be filed and accepted designating Eswatini but there is no guarantee that the ARIPO patent will be enforceable.

Novelty:

Absolute novelty required.

Duration/Renewals:

The patent will expire when the UK/South African patent expires. The duration of an ARIPO patent designating Eswatini is 20 years from date of filing. Annual renewal fees are not payable in the case of a UK patent. In the case of registration from a South African patent, renewal fees are due annually on the same date as the South African renewal fees are due.

International and Regional Systems:

  • Paris Convention
  • PCT
  • ARIPO
  • Granted UK patents extend to Eswatini without the need for local re-registration. It is also possible to register a granted South African patent to obtain registration in Eswatini.

Types of Designs:

  • Industrial Designs

Filing Requirements:

A UK design will automatically extend to Eswatini without re-registration. It is also possible to register a South African design to obtain rights in Eswatini. An ARIPO application can also be filed designating Eswatini however, there is no guarantee that an ARIPO design will be enforceable.

For a granted South African design:

  • Simply signed Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
  • Certified copy of the South African design (required upon filing)

For design applications through ARIPO:

  • ARIPO applications can be filed and accepted designating Eswatini but there is no guarantee that the ARIPO design will be enforceable.

Duration/Renewals:

The design will expire when the UK/South African design expires. Annual renewal fees are not payable in the case of a UK design. In the case of registration from a South African design, renewal fees are due 5 years from the filing date of the South African design. Functional designs can be renewed for a further 5 year term whereas aesthetic designs can be renewed for 2 further 5 year terms (as long as the South African renewal fee has been paid).

International and Regional Systems:

  • Paris Convention
  • ARIPO
Harare Protocol

ARIPO is mandated to grant patents on behalf of the Harare Protocol Contracting States in accordance with the provisions of the Harare Protocol on Patents, Designs and Utility Models. The Harare Protocol was adopted on December 10, 1982 at Harare, Zimbabwe. The protocol entered into force in 1984.

ARIPO Members – Patents
Botswana, Eswatini, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania (mainland), Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.