INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SERIES: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TRADEMARK

A trademark, according to Wikipedia is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks.

The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity, trademarks are often displayed on company buildings.

Trade Mark in Nigeria is governed by two laws: Trade Marks Act, 2004 and the Trademark Regulations, 1990.

The Act defines a mark as including a device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter, numeral, or any combination thereof.

Where to register of Trademark in Nigeria:

The Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry under the Commercial Law Department of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, is the relevant trademark authority. Applications for registrations are made to the registrar of trademarks. The department is charged with the duty of dealing with applications for the registration of trademarks and other related matters.

Why you need to register a Trademark in Nigeria:

Unlike copyright, protection does not vest automatically on its owner. It is imperative that you register your trademark if you want it to remain exclusively yours.

Aluko Adeyemi & Associates

Requirements for registration of trademarks:

The following are required for the registration of a trademark in Nigeria:

  1. Details of the applicant/proprietor
  2. Prints or a representation of the proposed trademark.
  3. Class and specification of goods or services for which the trademark is to be registered.
  4. Authorization of Agent (Power of Attorney) signed by the applicant and where the applicant is a body corporate, by an officer duly authorized to do so.

Application Process:

  1. Availability Search: It is advisable that searches be conducted to determine the availability of a trade mark before any application for registration is made. The outcome of the search would determine whether the proposed trademark may be registered or not.
  2. Application for Registration: If the application is deemed as one that may be registered, the registry issues a Letter of Acceptance that serves as an approval. After the approval has been issued, the mark is advertised in Trademarks journal published by the Trademarks office.
  3. Application for/Issuance of Certificate of Registration: Where there are no third party objections to the registration of a trademark within the opposition period or where the objections are resolved in favor of the applicant, the Registrar then issues the applicant with a Certificate of Registration.

Duration and Renewal:

The registration of a trade mark shall be for a period of seven years but may be renewed from time to time for a period of fourteen years.

Revocation of Trademark:

  1. A trade mark can be revoked or taken off the register on an application made by any person concerned on the following grounds:
  2. Non-use, during a continuous period of at least five years during which the trademark was registered;
  3. If the entry has been made in the register without sufficient cause;
  4. Non-compliance to the registrar’s statutory notice to renew by the registered proprietor

Should you need any advise on applying for trademark, contact us here.

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