Trademark is the most important intangible asset of any business. A trademark plays a very crucial role in the branding of a business. This article will briefly explain the trademark registration process in Nigeria.
Trademark Law in Nigeria
The Trademarks, Patents And Designs Registry, Commercial Law Department, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is the government agency that is in charge of the trademark registration in Nigeria. All applications for the registration of trademark are to be made to the Registrar of Trademarks.
Documents and details required to register a trademark in Nigeria
- All details of the applicant
- All information about the trademark
- The entire range of goods proposed to be covered by the trademark
- The authorisation of the agent or the Power of Attorney
The Procedure to Apply for the Registration of a Trademark in Nigeria
It is important to register your trademark to claim its exclusive rights. If unregistered, the only recourse you have when someone uses your claimed trademark is passing off. So to claim legal rights, it is better to register a trademark. The steps to register a trademark in Nigeria are as follows:
1. Availability Search
Before you begin the registration process, you need to do a comprehensive search to confirm that your proposed trademark is similar to your proposed mark. The outcome of the search will help you determine if you should apply for the registration of your proposed mark or not.
2. Application of Trademark
Once you know that the proposed trademark is available, you will be required to fill in the statutory application form with detailed information about the owner and the mark. You will be required to submit a specimen of the mark you intend to register. Upon successful submission of the form, you will need to make payment of the required fees. The registry will then issue an Acknowledgment Form, confirming the receipt of the application.
3. Acceptance of the Registration
The trademark will then be examined by the registry to confirm if the mark is distinctive and not in conflict with any previously registered trademarks. On successful verification, the trademark registry then issues an acceptance letter.
4. Advertising the Trademark
On successful registration, the mark is advertised in the Trademarks journal published by the Trademarks Office. The publication of a trademark serves as public notification about the registration of your trademark. If anyone has any objection or opposition to the registration of the trademark, they will have to file the same with the registry within two months of the publication.
4. Issuance of Certificate of Registration
If there is no objection against the registration of the trademark, or if the objection or opposition is overruled, the certificate of registration will be issued by the registry.
The trademark registration in Nigeria is valid for 7 years in the first instance, and subsequently can be further renewable at 14-year periods. An application for the renewal of trademark registration should be made within 30 days from the due date. Many businesses suffer from imitation, counterfeiting, and other forms of infringement. Hence, it is important to register your trademark. The professionals at Vakilsearch can help you complete the registration process in a hassle-free manner.
What Is a Trademark?
A trademark is a symbol, word, logo, design, words, phrase, or a combination of these. Trademarks distinguish the source of goods and services of one party from that of others. A trademark is a way of protecting a brand’s products from being counterfeited or duplicated.
A registered trademark enables the trademark owner to take legal action against anyone who uses the trademark without permission. It serves as an asset as registration enables him/her to sell or license the registered trademark. Registration allows the owner to legally display the “®” symbol next to the brand, and warn fraudsters against the use of the registered trademark.