Trademark Registration and Protection
Nigeria is a first to file country and trademark registration is mandatory to be granted rights over a mark. Nigeria trademarks are valid for 7 years from the filing date and renewable for further periods of 14 years. Smit & Van Wyk Intellectual Property lawyers deal exclusively with trademark law in Nigeria. Types of trademarks available in Nigeria: goods and services, certification marks, defensive marks and series marks. Our fields of practice encompass all aspects relating to trade mark applications, renewals and protection, but more specifically:
- Providing advice on the registrability of a trade mark.
- Selection, use and retention of trade marks.
- Preparing and prosecuting trade mark applications.
- Helping clients license or franchise their rights.
- Handling of trade mark maintenance including payment of renewal fees.
- Recording amendments.
Nigeria – Nigeria category tag. View all articles related to Nigeria Intellectual Property including patents, trademarks, designs, copyright and plant breeders’ rights. We can provide information on the filing requirements in each of the African countries…
Nigeria Trademarks – Nigeria is a first to file country and trademark registration is mandatory to be granted rights over a mark. Nigeria trademarks are valid for 7 years from the filing date and renewable for further periods of 14 years. Smit & Van Wyk Intellectual Property lawyers deal exclusively with trademark law in Nigeria…
Nigeria Patents – Require novelty and inventiveness but the Nigerian Patent Office does not perform an examination when filing your patent application. The payment of annual renewal fees from the 1st anniversary of the filing date will keep your patent in force for a maximum period of 20 years…
First to File – This means that the first person or entity that applies for a trade mark, will obtain registration and may prevent others from using it. This person / entity will have the rights thereto, regardless of whether another have built up a reputation with the mark in that country…
Nigeria recognises the goods and services classes from the Nice Classification and allows for multi-class filing. The Nice Classification, established by the Nice Agreement, is an international classification for the registration of marks. A new edition is published every 5 years and a new version of each edition is published annually. Use of the Nice Classification is mandatory for the national registration of marks in countries party to the Nice Agreement:
the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI);
the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO);
the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP);
the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and;
the International Bureau of WIPO.
Nigeria is a member of the Paris Convention where each contracting state must grant the same IP protection to nationals of other contracting states, and provides for the right of priority in the case of patents, trade marks and designs. The Paris Convention is an international agreement which helps creators ensure that their intellectual property is protected in other countries. It applies to IP in the widest sense as it covers patents, trade marks and industrial designs to name a few.
Madrid Trademarks in Africa
Only nine of the thirty eight African members have enforced the Madrid Protocol through appropriate amendments to their national trade mark legislation, together with the implementation of enabling regulations, namely Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Even in these nine countries, practical issues exist such as the recognition of the national laws of each country, the enforceability of the International registration in those countries and the effect of national common law rights. Procedural issues include adhering to the system’s strict processing timelines, irregular publication of Trade Mark Journals, late examination or non-examination and issues related to record keeping. At this stage, it is recommended that clients pursue national trade mark applications in each African country of interest. We remain at your disposal to render advice as to which countries may enjoy a successful registration using the Madrid System.