Trademark in Nigeria is a unique representation used to identify a business or its products. It can be a name, logo, slogan, word(s), signature or any other distinctive mark used by a person selling goods or services to distinguish and identify their goods or services from those of another. A trademark can also be a symbol or image or design located on a brand name, a label, or on a company’s product.
Trademarks are a form of Intellectual Property registered by the Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry and enforced by the courts.
It is important for all entrepreneurs and business owners to protect their business identities by registering the unique symbols or trademarks of the business. It should be noted that a trademark is different from copyright and patent right. They do not mean the same thing. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on trademark registration in Nigeria.
Upon deciding to register a trademark, the first step is to find out what class (es) your mark fall into. All trademarks must be registered under a class or multiple classes depending on the activities it is to be used in relation to. Nigeria uses Nice international system of classification under which there are 45 different classes.
You should know what category your mark falls into. Check the 45 here!!!
It is important for every applicant to understand the classes the registering trademark belongs to or closely aligns with. However, a trademark may be registered in more than one class where the mark is to be used in relation to multiple activities. However, where the applicant is seeking protection in multiple classes, separate application must be made in each of the classes.
There are three major steps involved in the registration of trademark in Nigeria:
Just like when registering your business as a company or a business name, a search is carried out in the trademark registry. This is done to determine if no similar trademark has been registered in that class and if it does not offend any rules of the trademark registration laws. The outcome of the search will help you determine whether the proposed mark may be registered or not.
After a successful search has been conducted, an application for registration may be made. If the application is registrable, the Registry will accept, register the trademark and issue an Acceptance Letter to the Applicant which serves as an initial evidence for due registration.
Upon the acceptance of registration of the trademark, the Registrar will ensure that the Notice of Application is published in the Trademark journal including the conditions and limitations attached to the application. The purpose of the publication is to give members of the public 2 months to oppose or protest the registration of a Trademark.
This is optional and does not occur in every trademark application. However, where there is a protest or objection regarding a trademark registration, the Registrar notifies the applicant, who has to respond within 1 month. Where an applicant fails to respond, his application may be deemed abandoned. However, where the applicant responds stating convincing reasons why he is entitled to the trademark, a Tribunal will be set up to determine the conflict in favor of one of the conflicting parties.
Where there is no objection to the publication in the journal, or such objection has been made and successfully resolved in favor of the Applicant, a Trademark Certificate of Registration will be issued to the Applicant which serves as an evidence of due registration and completion of all processes. It further confers on the owner, a right of exclusive use and ownership of the trademark.
Trademark lasts for a period of 7 (seven years) and can be renewed after expiration for a subsequent period of 14 (fourteen) years at each renewal. To apply for a trademark renewal, an applicant needs to provide:
Every registered trademark holder may assign such trademark to another person or entity for usage within a period of time. An assignee or assignor of the trademark right may apply to the trademark Registry for recording of such title or right in favor of the assignee. The requirements for trademark recording are:
Unlike copyright, protection does not vest automatically in the owner of a trademark in Nigeria. Not registering a trademark would deprive you of the exclusive right to use it. Anybody can lay claim to it as theirs. All individuals or companies should strive to protect their business identity by registering unique symbols distinct and peculiar to their business.
A trademark in Nigeria should be registered as white and black. This is because the protection afforded to a trademark registered in color, is limited to the color(s) registered. On the other hand, a black and white registration affords protection to all colors of presentation of the trademark.
The Trademarks, Patents And Designs Registry, Commercial Law Department, Federal Ministry Of Industry, Trade And Investment is in charge of trademark registration in Nigeria. The Commercial Law Department administers protection of trademarks, patents and designs in Nigeria and Is Committed To Providing Prompt And Excellent Service Delivery Consistent With Modern Innovation And Technology As Well As Raising The Profile Of Nigeria In The Area Of Intellectual Property Protection, In A Way Consistent.
In Nigeria, only accredited individuals or companies can register a trademark. Any person who has the intention of registering a trademark will have to engage the services of such qualified and accredited individuals. It is advisable to appoint a professional to conduct the trademark registration on your behalf as they are more experienced in doing this.
Sidebrief is a team of professional with hands on experience on Trademark from Applications to completion in Nigeria. We make the process of applying and obtaining your trademark easy and straightforward with no worries. We are also affordable and you would be impressed by our services.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 09018081296
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