Press release | 2012-04-05 08:14:54

inovia Expands Agent Network in Africa

Leading Intellectual Property Law Firm Spoor & Fisher Expands Role within the inovia Agent Network to Provide PCT National Stage Entry Filings in South Africa

inovia, the leading foreign filing platform provider, today announced Spoor & Fisher will expand its partnership and role within inovia’s international network of agents. Spoor & Fisher, who has been inovia’s agent for filings into the African Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO), will now handle PCT national stage entry filings into South Africa, providing inovia clients with greater efficiency and a streamlined relationship for filings into Africa.

“As one of the continent’s leading IP law firms, Spoor & Fisher is extremely knowledgeable about all facets of the national and international patent filing system and will bring tremendous value to our clients, while simultaneously allowing inovia to expand its offering into other countries throughout the African continent,” said David Nelson, CEO of inovia. “The partnership will ensure our clients have full access to this important and growing economic region.”

Spoor & Fisher has consistently ranked in Managing Intellectual Property magazine’s “Patent Survey” as a Tier 1 agent in South Africa. The firm has been part of inovia’s growing agent network since July of 2010 and will replace Bowman Gilfillan, who is stepping down as inovia’s agent in South Africa due to a recent restructuring at the firm.

Patent filings into South Africa are substantially higher than any other country in Africa. Approximately 6600 patent applications are filed in South Africa annually and this number is increasing steadily, making it an important region for applicants to consider in their foreign filing strategies.

“We are happy to be strengthening our relationship with inovia so that we can provide greater access to the African content for their clients,” commented Craig Kahn, a partner at Spoor & Fisher. “South Africa is the largest trading economy and has the highest GDP in Africa, making the country a natural gateway for creating business links and opportunities throughout the continent.”

inovia is one of the largest foreign filing providers in the world. More than 1,000 companies, law firms and universities have used its online platform,, to reduce the cost and complexity of their PCT national stage entry, European patent validation and patent translation work. In combination with its technology platform, inovia’s agent network, covering more than 80 countries, is a key component to its business model. Agents are selected based on their commitment to client service, expertise in their jurisdictions and meticulous translation standards.

About Spoor & Fisher

Spoor & Fisher has been a specialist IP firm since its formation in 1920. The firm provides legal services throughout Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean, and has a proud tradition of having been involved in many of the leading patent, trademark and copyright cases in South Africa. Spoor & Fisher has offices in Jersey (Channel Islands), Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria, in South Africa. The firm specializes in all aspects of intellectual property law including patents, trademarks, copyright and designs, related litigation, commercial transactions, due diligence and portfolio management.

About inovia

inovia is the global leader in foreign patent filing, having served more than 1,500 clients. Its global instruction platform,, simplifies the PCT national stage entry, direct (Paris Convention) filing and European validation processes. inovia, a member of the RWS Group, has headquarters in New York, offices in London, Munich and Sydney, and agents covering over 130 countries, providing support in all major time zones and IP jurisdictions. inovia's patented technology pioneered online foreign filing and is recognized among WIPO's most notable inventions. For more information visit and follow the company on Twitter @inoviaIP.


Elizabeth Curtin

Marketing Coordinator

+1 (646) 237 3864