Procedure for patent application

✓ Form P1 & Complete Specification (P5)

✓ Examination in terms of the Patent Law

✓ Notification of Applicant to advertise Patent in Patents & Trademarks Journal at a prescribed fee in Form PV.8.

✓ Opposition (if any) of the patent by third parties occurs within three months from date of publication

✓ No opposition; patent is issued

Costs for patents

Provisional patent – US$80.

*The provisional patent is mostly for those who plan to exhibit their idea at a show or exhibition forum. It is valid for 6 months.

The second patenting plan is valid for 20 years. Fees are:

Application fees – $400

Advert fees – $40

Certificate – $80

Patents in Zimbabwe are governed by the Patent Act (Chapter 26:03) which was amended in 2002. The Act provides for registration and protection of patents.  One is required to make formal registration for intellectual property rights at the national office of Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office (ZIPO) or the regional office of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO). The Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office (ZIPO) is a section of the Department of Deeds and Intellectual Property and is currently administered by the Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. 

The maximum cost for patenting is $520 (costs include searching fees, application fees, certificate and advertising). Obtaining a patent will take approximately 4–6 months to acquire. 
angle-left What a patent is and who may apply

ZIPO defines a patent as an official document conferring a sole right/privilege or license to an inventor for a limited period (20 years in the case of Zimbabwe). The official document is specifically called letters Patents. 

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention to exclude the rest of the public from making, using, or selling the invention without authorization. A patent confers on the patentees full power, sole privileges and authority to make, use, exercise and vend the invention for their economic benefit.

Patents require renewal after every year from the 3rd anniversary up to 20 years.

Note that;

  • Term of protection limited is usually 20 years from the date of filing with no option for renewal.
  • Patent rights are territorial.
  • An inventor has to fully disclose his invention in detail in order to be granted protection.

Who may apply for patent?

  • Any inventor or assignee of the invention
  • Joint inventors

Why patent 

  • Patents legally protect inventions
  • Patents restrict the commercial making, use, distribution sale of the invention without the owner’s consent
  • They provide incentives to inventors by offering them recognition for their creativity and material reward for their marketable inventions
  • The incentives given encourage innovation, which assures that the quality of human life is continuously enhanced
  • Patented inventions create a data bank of prior art on entering the public
  • Patenting facilitates the transfer of knowledge, licensing and devolution by operation of law
  • Patent infringement proceedings are enabled/possible
  • Registration achieves public disclosure of information
  • Patents can be used as a tool in negotiation or dispute resolution