If you’re looking to register your trademark in Nigeria, here are some things you’ll need to know:
1. Be unique– When coming up with a name for your trademark, make sure it won’t conflict with any other existing trademarked names. As a precaution, come up with 3 to 6 names in case any of them are rejected. Be creative. Besides being a similarly registered mark, other grounds for rejection of a trademark are: – Descriptiveness – Deceptiveness – Interferes with public policy – Immorality
2. Fulfill all the necessary requirements:
a. Applicant’s details – Full name(s), nationality, and physical address of the applicant, passport photos (2), company or individual registering trademark, class of goods to be registered
b. All pertinent trademark information – All information must be clear and distinct. If you’re filing your application online, provide a representation of the logo in jpeg format (120px x 100px, 1200 dpi) A trademark may be registered either in plain black and white or in colour. Trademarks in colour are only afforded protection limited to the colour registered. However, trademarks in black and white are offered protection to all colours of representation of the trademark. On occasion, the Registrar may ask that in order for a trademark be deemed acceptable, word marks that are Common English words be registered in combination with devices or logos.
c. Goods – A list of all goods covered or proposed to be covered by the trademark. Provide a separate application for each classification of goods for which the trademark will be registered.
d. Power of Attorney or Authorization of Agent – The attorney/agent will be the person responsible for processing all documents, defending oppositions if there are any, providing an address for the local servicing of documents, and maintaining renewals of all trademarks. Power of Attorney must be signed with full particulars of the applicant (Name, address, nationality), and capacity of the signatory if the applicant is a firm/company. (Find attorneys in Nigeria) A local agent/attorney may be replaced in favour of a new one by submitting another Power of Attorney/Authorization form.
3. File and process all applications at the Nigerian Registry of Trade Marks, Patents, Designs, and Copyright through the local attorney/agent. The cost of filing your application should anywhere between N80,000 to N100,00.
4. After the application is filed, the Registrar will issue an official acknowledgement reflecting the official number and the filing date of application. Afterwards, a preliminary search will be conducted to determine the trademark’s eligibility. All trademark applications must be included in the Nigerian Trademark Journal, after which it is open for opposition for a period of two (2) month from date of advertisement. If no oppositions are received within that period, and the Registrar finds the trademark acceptable and is cleared for registration, the applicant will be furnished with a certificate of registration. The registration certificate will reflect the date of initial filing as its date of registration. The certificate will be valid for seven (7) years and will be renewable for a periods of fourteen (14) years. Renewal should be made not less than three (3) months from due date.
It’s important to note that your trademark may be removed by the trademark office due to any of the following circumstances:
a. If your trademark has not been used or was registered without any intention of use.
b. If your trademark has not been used for a continuous period of at least five (5) years from the date of registration.
c. If the trademark has been made in the registrar without sufficient cause.
d. If the trademark remains wrongly on the register.
e. For non-compliance of the registered proprietor to the registrar’s statutory notice.
5. Trademarks can also be filed online through local IP agents, but only for corporate firm registrations.
Source : ngex.com