Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
TABERER, R.F.. Patenting in the field of percolation leaching. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2012, vol.112, n.12, pp. 1031-1036. ISSN 2411-9717.
Within the technology field generally known as biological heap leaching or percolation leaching, lies a wealth of technological knowhow that is potentially patentable and therefore can form the subject matter of patent applications. An organization often overlooks the potential for generating intellectual capital during its research by dismissing the possibility that what it is working on may be novel and inventive and therefore patentable. The organization labours under the misconception that there is nothing patentable in its work mainly because the novel aspect is overlooked against the general background state of the art or, if identified, is not recognized as having sufficient inventive merit. In the field of biological heap leaching, patents have issued on inventions that extend across a large range of technology, including microbiological inventions-for example a particular strain of microbe used in a heap leach application, electro-mechanical inventions, for example a column simulator that simulates the heap leach environment, and thermodynamic inventions such as methods of generating and maintaining heat in a heap.
Keywords : percolation heap leaching; heap bioleaching; patenting; microorganisms..