Business Trademark Registration In Nigeria

Trademark registration in Nigeria is a vital step for brand owners to protect their intellectual property and maintain a unique brand identity. It allows businesses to differentiate their products and services from competitors and prevents unauthorized use of their brand.

In this post we will walk through the process of trademark registration in Nigeria, highlighting the importance of safeguarding your brand in a competitive market.

Applicable Laws for Trademarks in Nigeria

Trademark registration in Nigeria is governed by two key legal documents:

The Trademarks Act: This legislation lays down the fundamental principles and procedures for trademark registration.

The Trademarks Regulation, 2004: These regulations provide additional guidelines and details for the application process.

Classes of Trademarks in Nigeria

Trademarks are classified into different categories to ensure clarity and specificity. These classes cover a wide range of goods and services, allowing businesses to register their trademarks appropriately.

What Types of Marks Are Registrable?

To be eligible for trademark registration in Nigeria, marks must meet certain criteria:

Distinctive Mark: The mark should be distinctive and easily distinguishable from others.

Special Representation: It can include the name of a company, individual, or firm represented in a unique manner.

Invented Words: Invented words or phrases that have no direct reference to the character or quality of goods or services.

Non-Geographical and Non-Surname: The mark should not be a geographical name or a surname.

Government Agency Responsible for Trademark Registration

The authority overseeing trademark registration in Nigeria is the Trademarks, Patents, and Design Registry, which operates under the Commercial Law Department of the Ministry of Trade and Investments in Abuja, Nigeria. The Registrar of Trademarks is responsible for approving registrations and managing the registration process.

Requirements for Trademark Registration

To initiate the trademark registration process, you must provide the following information:

Applicant’s Information: Name, address, and other personal details.

Contact Details: Valid contact information for the applicant.

Power of Attorney: A document authorizing an agent or lawyer to handle the registration on behalf of the applicant. Notarization is not required for this document.

Trademark Representation: A copy of the device, logo, word, or phrase you intend to register as a trademark.

Fees: Pay the necessary fees, including registry fees and service fees for the agent assisting with the registration. On average, the total cost, including official fees, ranges from N170,000 to N200,000.

Recommended Read: How To Get A NAFDAC Number For Your Brand

Steps to Trademark Registration in Nigeria

Trademark registration involves several crucial steps, from the initial application to the grant of registration:

1. Choose Your Accredited Agent or Legal Practitioner

Since individuals cannot apply for trademarks personally in Nigeria, the first step is selecting an accredited agent or lawyer. Provide them with a Power of Attorney to act on your behalf.

2. Conduct a Preliminary Search

Before proceeding with the application, conduct an availability search to ensure that your chosen mark hasn’t already been registered by another entity and that no similar marks exist.

3. Fill Out the Application

Complete the prescribed trademark application form, providing all necessary details, including the applicant’s name, description of the mark, and the classes under which you want to register the mark. Submit the application and pay the required fees.

4. Examination by the Registrar

The Registrar will examine the application to assess whether the mark is distinctive and complies with trademark laws and regulations.

5. Publication in the Trademarks Journal

If the Registrar deems the mark distinctive and compliant, it will be published in the Nigerian Trademarks Journal. This publication allows the public to review and potentially oppose the application within a two-month period.

6. Opposition Proceedings

If any party wishes to oppose the trademark registration, they must file an opposition within two months of the publication in the Trademarks Journal. The opponent should specify the grounds for opposition and provide relevant details.

7. Certificate of Registration

If no opposition is filed within the stipulated period, and all fees and requirements have been met, the Registrar will enter the trademark in the Register. This marks the successful registration of your trademark, granting you legal protection and exclusive rights to use the mark.

Trademark registration in Nigeria is a strategic move to protect your brand and establish a unique identity in the market.

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