IdeaPosit dates and certifies documents and files using modern digital technology, providing a digital certificate bearing a date stamp. A modern and affordable alternative to the traditional depot.

Safely protect patent ideas deposit trademark copyrights




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The original creators of works protected by Copyright and their heirs have certain basic rights. They hold the exclusive right to use or authorize others to use their work on agreed terms. The creator of a work can prohibit or authorize: its reproduction in various forms, such as printed publication or sound recording; its public performance, as in a play or musical work; recordings of it , for example, in the form of compact discs, cassettes or videotapes; its broadcasting, by radio, cable or satellite; its translation into other languages, or its adaptation, such as a novel into a screenplay. copyrights claim protect

The author or owner of the work should make a copyright deposit, whether the work is artistic, literary, design, website, project or concept. A copyright deposit and registration is the only way an original work can be protected in a way that provides the author with the full range of advantages and benefits related to his creativity. There many great reasons to protect a creative work by depositing and registering a work for copyright protection: The deposit process is easy

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By obtaining rights, the inventor or author has an enforceable right to deal exclusively with the idea and have ownership. There are organisations and patent and trademark attorneys that can help you safeguard your idea. Step one: Register the business Set up a business entity by registering the business as a Close Corporation or a Private Company and get all of the necessary licenses and tax registrations that are required by the South African Revenue Services (SARS). Step two: Trademark, Patent and Copyright It is important to know the difference between a trademark, patent and copyright in order to follow the correct procedures to safeguard the idea.

What is aTrademark

A trademark is a type of intellectual property, and is typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. The owner of a registered trademark can take legal action for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorised use of that trademark.

What is a Patent?

A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by the government to an inventor for a limited period in exchange for a public disclosure of an invention.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is the legal protection against copying and the specific rights allowing copying given to original works that are printed or photographically or electronically stored words, music, visual arts, and performing arts. The purpose of copyright is not just to protect the rights, but also to establish the rules under which copies or portions may be made to make a work more widely available.

How to register a trademark

Trademark registrations provide wide-ranging protection and remedies against infringement.

How to register a patent

Once you have established that the patent hasn’t been registered you can file a provisional patent application through Cipro ( The reason that you register a provisional patent application is to provide time to evaluate the invention publically. This means that if a similar or the same patent is registered, but was missed during the search, there would be a 12-month period for this problem to show up. Applications for Provisional Patent Application costs approximately R60.Once the provisional patent application has expired, a patent application must be completed. Complete patents must be signed and filed by a patent attorney. The complete patent filing in South Africa can cost between R7 000 and R10 000 or more, including official fees. The renewal fee, payable annually from the 3rd year onwards, is on a sliding scale from R130 to R206 for official fees and R725 for a patent attorney’s fee. To register a patent you have to conduct a search Before you can register a patent you have to conduct a patent search. In South Africa, a patent search can only be done at Cipro in Pretoria. Researchers and inventors can do searches at Cipro’s Paper Based Disclosure Centre. South African patents are not available online. Most patent attorneys in South Africa use USAPTO to conduct their searches. This site offers a good indication of whether or not an invention has been patented because the ‘novelty requirement’ is truly tested in such a large market place. Most patent applications will be granted by Cipro because it does not check to establish that an invention is unique. That is why a Provisional Application for Patent is so important. Other search options There is an Electronic Patent Journal (EPJ) where South African patent information is available. It is currently being developed for availability via the Internet, but at present can only be accessed through the offices of the patent attorneys, Hahn & Hahn and Spoor & Fisher. The database is available on CD or hard disk at a cost of R55 000 for the basic set and R12 370 per annum for the update. There is also an option for ‘pay-as-you-use’ searches. An hourly fee is charged. International Patent Searches Patent searches in other industrialised countries are available on-line in specialist databases. Seek legal advice It is best to see legal advice o help you register a trademark or patent as these are complex procedures. Step three: Pitching your idea without it being stolen A Non-disclosure Agreement is a legal contract that allows a company to share its intellectual property (IP) with others, whose input it needs, without unduly jeopardising that information. A non-disclosure agreement or confidentiality agreement is used when you have an unpatented idea that you need to show to a third party. Non-disclosure agreements are the cheapest form of protection for an invention you can use, but they are not a substitute for a patent application. The purpose of a NDA Entrepreneurs are often in a tricky situation when presenting their business plans and intellectual property (IP) to potential investors. The purpose of a confidentiality agreement is it to protect the idea so the entrepreneur can patent it later so the agreement should be catered towards that. Typical things to include in the confidentiality agreement would be the duration – in other words when it expires – also spell out what a breach of the agreement would be and then what the consequences are and don’t forget to define the parties carefully. Confidentiality agreements, or non-disclosure documents as they are also known, protect sensitive technical or commercial information from disclosure to others. If after a non-disclosure agreement has been signed, the information is revealed to another individual or company, the injured party has cause to claim a breach of contract. The type of information that can be included is virtually unlimited – data, know-how, prototypes, engineering drawings, computer software, test results, tools, systems, and specifications.

Frequently Asked Questions


Yes! In the event of a judicial dispute concerning your copyrights in principle every proof is allowed. An IdeaPosit certification can count as supporting evidence, but does not automatically grant you any intellectual property. Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

Certification of your work in digital form (e.g. document, photograph, scan, ...) through the IdeaPosit service can add to your evidence by delivering proof that the original certified file was in your posession on the certification date and time.

Please visit these websites on (international) copyrights: The WIPO website and (US)

Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the Constitution of almost any country in the world and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.

Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture.

Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

Please visit these websites on (international) copyrights: The WIPO website and (US)

Your copyright is good in all countries of the world. Almost all countries in the world, with little exception, respect the international laws preposed by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). If you are not a EU, UK, Japanese or Israeli citizen, please check your country's copyright relations with other countries. If you are a US citizen, you can check this listing of countries and the nature of their copyright relations with the United States: Circular 38a.

IdeaPosit only offers a tool to date digital files to proof that the original certified file was in your posession on the certification date and time. IdeaPosit does not provide legal counsel. We'll be glad to provide you with contact information of specialized copyright lawyers from our network. If you have a legal insurance make sure that copyrightlaw is covered. We advice you to consult with your insurance before taking legal action.

Credits are automatically updated on the first day of each month. E.g. if you have a Free account your balacen will be updated to 10 credits each month. Credits can not be transferred to the next month.

You can validate original files and certificates free of charge, but you need a (free) IdeaPosit account to do so. After logging in you can validate files on the Validation page. You can only validate files if you are in posession of both the original file and the accessory IdeaPosit certificate file. For you convenience, you can use the IdeaPosit zip-file that was generated during the certification phase.

All generated certificates can be viewed and downloaded through the Certificates menu on your account page. By double clicking a record (or clicking the download icon) the system will re-generate the certificate file and trigger the download.

IdeaPosit wants to guarantee the safety and privacy of your files and therefore does not want you to upload files to our server. For our validation NO files will be sent to our system, only the meta-data calculated from the orinial file and the data from the certificate file. All calculations will be performed on your local PC. This proces is reliable and efficient. If a validation gives unexpected results, you can request a manual validation by an IdeaPosit team member for a 100% reliable confirmation. Please contact for more information.

If you're no longer in the posession of the original IdeaPosit zip-file that was generated during the certification phase, you can always upload the seperate mandatory files (the original file and the certificate file), or add them to a newly created zip-file containing those two.

Every change to the original file or the certificate file leads to a negative validation. A single pixel in a picture or a single character in a document - even a space - will be seen as a whole new file by the IdeaPosit system. If validation returns a negative response, the system has detected content changes since the validation date and time. If you have actually changed the original file, it'll have to go through the certification process again and a new certificate with a new certification date will be issued. The only thing you can change after certification is the name of the original file or name of the certificate. If you receive an error indicating that the certificate file is damaged or invalid, you can download a copy through the Certificates menu on your account page.

Credits are automatically updated on the first day of each month. E.g. if you have a Free account your balacen will be updated to 10 credits each month. Credits can not be transferred to the next month.

IdeaPosit is very safe to use. NO files will be uploaded to our server and we have no access to their content; guaranteed! All files that are processed by our system reside and stay on your computer. Furthermore, we do not transfer certificates or other data via e-mail. This renders IdeaPosit much safer to use than other providers of online deposit services. IdeaPosit is safe to use with privacy-sensitive and confidential information. Technical: IdeaPosit creates file-hashes using the SHA3/Keccak-256 algorithm.

In the unfortunate circumstance that IdeaPosit has to cease it's operations , your certificates and file datings remain valid. The issued certificate and (important!) the e-mail with the IdeaPosit certificate proof the dating of the certified file. Also does the certificate contain a "File hash" field. This file hash can easily be used with other software designed to extract and compare file hashes. IdeaPosit uses the open-source SHA3/Keccak-256 algorithm.