HOW TO REGISTER A TRADEMARK IN NIGERIA
HOW TO APPLY AND REGISTER A TRADEMARK IN NIGERIA: PROCEDURE AND STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS
Businesses should register their trademarks as a measure of company protection. The Nigerian trademark rules allow you to register a variety of marks. They include any combination of these marks, as well as a device, trademark, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter, or number.
In other words, you can register your name, company logo, brand-related pictures, or words. In addition to colors associated with a product, names can also be trademarked. An example of a shoe design that can be patented is one with red soles.
Please get in touch with us if you have any queries about trademark registration in Nigeria or if you would want our assistance.
What Nigerian trademarks are not allowed?
The registration of trademarks in Nigeria is handled by the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment. The Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry is the ministry's section in charge of trademark registration.
The Nigerian Trademarks Act of 2004 governs trademark registration in Nigeria.
Under the law, you cannot register a trademark which is:
Deceptive, scandalous or contrary to law or morality.
A mark or name that contains prohibited words or symbols such as the names of chemical substances, the Coat of Arms, the words “patent” “patented”, “registered”, “registered design”, “copyright” or words to the like effect and so on.
You are also not allowed to register a trademark for any word or idea that is too generic, descriptive or too functional. For example, you cannot trademark “General food” or “Simple Technology” because it’s not distinctive enough.
But even if a creative word is made up of two generic words or a generic word plus a non-generic word, you can still trademark that word. "Viruskiller" or "Smartshoes" are two examples of generic terms that can be trademarked. The words can easily pass for a distinctive mark because they are combined to form one word. "Simple T" or "True La" are two more examples. These are merely illustrations to assist in your understanding of what may be trademarked and what may not. It is challenging to fully explain trademarks in this article.
Why is it vital to register trademarks?
The filing of a trademark is essentially required in particular circumstances. For instance, you will be required to register a trademark if you need to register a product with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
your company's reputation to market their own goods.
Others, however, view trademark registration as a crucial component of safeguarding your company's inventiveness. The registration of your trademark is crucial if you want to establish and protect your business and prevent others from utilizing your brand to market their own goods.
In Nigeria, trademark protection is on the basis of first to register.
How To Register A Trademark in Nigeria
A trademark can be registered by the trademark owner himself or through an agent unless he is a foreigner in which case he has to engage an agent.
There are forty-five (45) separate classes that you can register a trademark under. Once you identify the class your product belongs to, then you can take the steps towards registration.
Here are the steps on how to register a trademark in Nigeria.
Step 1: Preliminary Search: Conduct a search at the Trademarks Registry to ensure that your desired trademark is available and not already registered or similar to an existing trademark in Nigeria.
Step 2: Trademark Application: Complete the trademark application form. You can obtain the form from the Trademarks Registry or download it from their website. Provide all the necessary information, including the applicant's details, the trademark description, and the goods or services associated with the trademark.
Step 3: Submission: Submit the completed application form along with the required documents to the Trademarks Registry. The documents typically include the application form, a power of attorney (if filed by an agent), a representation of the trademark (logo or wordmark), and a statement of goods or services.
Step 4: Examination: The Trademarks Registry will examine your application to ensure compliance with the requirements. They will check for any conflicting trademarks and assess if there are any absolute or relative grounds for refusal.
Step 5: Publication: If the application passes the examination stage, it will be published in the Trademarks Journal. This publication serves to notify the public of the trademark application and allows for a period of 60 days for third parties to oppose the registration.
Step 6: Opposition Period: During the 60-day publication period, third parties can file oppositions to the trademark registration if they believe it conflicts with their existing rights. If there are no oppositions within this period, the application proceeds to the next step.
Step 7: Registration and Certificate Issuance: If there are no oppositions or if any oppositions are resolved in your favor, the Trademarks Registry will issue a certificate of registration. This certificate serves as proof of ownership and exclusive rights to the trademark in Nigeria.
It's important to note that the entire process, from application to registration, can take several months or even longer, depending on various factors and any potential oppositions. Working with a qualified intellectual property lawyer or trademark agent is recommended to ensure compliance with all requirements and navigate the registration process smoothly.
Time period for registration
In Nigeria, it takes roughly 6 months to complete the registration and certification of a trademark. anyway, while you wait for the certificate to be produced, you are free to use your trademark anyway you choose at the time of registration.
What conditions must be met in order to register a trademark in Nigeria?
1. Information about the applicant or proprietor, such as name and nationality
2. Photographs or an image of the proposed trademark
3. The type and description of the products or services that the trademark will be used for.
4. Authorization of Agent (Power of Attorney) signed by the applicant and, in the case of an organization, by an officer who has the necessary authority. There is no need for legalization or document notarization.