11/17/20213 min read


The trademark registration in Nigeria provided for by Trade Marks Act LFN 1990 is one important way to protect and distinguish someone’s trade symbols in Nigeria. Registering a trademark in Nigeria is the only way to protect a unique brand for goods or services in the market place. But how does one register this trademark?

 A Trademark is a recognizable name or design, which is legally registered and used to identify and distinguish a product or service from others. Some of the trademarks that can be registered include name, slogan, and shape. The trademark is usually registered through the Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry, Commercial Law Department of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in Nigeria.

Trademark registration in Nigeria gives the owner the right to use such registration to exclude others from violating or willfully copying or usage by a third party without consent. A registered owner of a trademark may institute an action in court to block any infringements or unauthorized use of their trademarks. The owner of a registered trademark also has the right to oppose any future trademark registration that may infringe on its own trademark.

Essentially, there are three major stages involved in trademark registration, which I will briefly explain as follows

  1. The first step required to be taken for any person or organization desiring to register a trademark is to brief an Agent, usually a lawyer with the trademark or the description of a symbol or logo or design to be registered.

  2. A search is conducted on the trademark, and if it is not in conflict or too similar to any existing trademark, an application for the registration can proceed. The Registrar will issue an acknowledgment upon the recipient of any due application. At this stage, the applicant can have confidence, but not assurance, in the success of the entire registration process.

It is worthy of note to state that different payments are to be made at this stage for search and application processing.

Whereupon an application has been approved after a successful search has been conducted, the Registry will accept, register the trademark and issue an Acceptance Letter to the applicant. The Acceptance Letter is initial evidence that the trademark has been duly registered.

  1. The third stage involves publication in the trademark journal and certification. This is the final stage.

 Upon the acceptance of the registration of a trademark, the Registrar will ensure the notice of the application is published in the Trademark Journal. Such notification will include the full details of the application and the applicant.

By virtue of this publication, any interested person would have the opportunity to oppose or object to the registration. Any person or organization who considers that a trademark being sought may likely confuse or mislead the public in light of any pre-existing trademarks may protest to the Registrar to stop such registration by filing a notice of opposition in a prescribed form.

Protests or oppositions containing the grounds upon which the protest is made must be sent to the Registrar of Trademarks within two months of publication of notice in a journal.

The Registrar will notify the applicant of any protest or opposition received. The applicant may respond to such opposition within one month from the date of receipt of such notice from the Registrar. An applicant who failed to respond to the opposition received with his or her own counter-statement may be deemed to have abandoned his or her application.

Where Registrar received the response of the applicant stating why the applicant is entitled to such a trademark, the Registrar of Trademark shall constitute a Tribunal to determine the conflict in favor of one of the contending parties.

Where there is no opposition to the publication in the journal, or opposition has been made and successfully resolved in favor of the applicant, the Certificate of Registration will be issued for the trademark sought.

The Certificate indicates the evidence of due registration and completion of all processes. It confers a right on the proprietor or the owner to use the trademark to the exclusion of every other entity.

However, where any other person or entity successfully challenged the applicant in opposing a trademark registration, the Registrar will issue a letter of refusal to the applicant.



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