n Without Prejudice - Patents : a ticket to ride for South African technology companies : intellectual property

Volume 12, Issue 10
  • ISSN : 1681-178X



As South African companies look to expand into international markets their use of patent and intellectual property systems becomes increasingly important. Early European shipping merchants were required to hold "" from their monarchs before they were allowed to develop new trade routes. In return for these letters patent the merchants sent royalties back to the monarch for the use of his name and authority. In modern times patents are granted for inventions, though they aren't as different as one might initially think from the original letters patent granted by monarchs for trade.

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