A trademark is a symbol or a sign which differentiates the goods and services of one business from another one. You can register your trademark – a name, logo, slogan, domain name, shape, colour or sound with the Commercial Law department, Ministry of Trade and Investment in Nigeria. This can legally protect your trademark from use by a competitor. The trademark must be distinctive for the goods and services that you provide, not be deceptive, illegal or immoral and not be similar to existing trademarks.
A trademark provides protection to the owner of the mark by ensuring the exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services, or to authorize another to use it in return for payment. The period of protection varies, but a trademark can be renewed indefinitely beyond the time limit on payment of additional fees. Trademark protection is enforced by the courts, which in most systems have the authority to block trademark infringement.
Who can process a registration?
Under Nigerian law, only accredited individuals/companies can register trademarks. So if you are interested in registering your trademark you will need to hire the services of accredited agents for this process.
Requirements for Trademark registration in Nigeria
- Applicant’s details
- Trademark Information
- The full range of goods covered or proposed to be covered by the trademark.
- Power of Attorney/Authorization of Agent
The trademark Information
The Representation must be clear and distinct. If to be filed online, soft copies are to be provided in jpeg format at a minimum of 1200 dpi.
A representation is preferred to have the following dimensions: 120px by 100px (length by breath)
The full range of goods covered or proposed to be covered by the trade mark. Nigeria presently follows the International Classification of Goods. A separate application is filed for each classification of goods for which the trade mark is to be registered.
Power of Attorney/Authorization of Agent
A Power of Attorney simply signed, with full particulars of name(s), address (es) and nationality of the applicant(s). Full name(s) and capacity of the signatory when applicant is a firm/company.
Procedure For Registration Of Trade Marks
The usual market practice is to instruct a local Attorney/Agent in Nigeria, who would file and process applications at the Nigerian Registry of Trade Marks, Patents, Designs and Copyright. A Power of Attorney/Authorization of Agent Form would be completed in favor of such local Agent, as the enabling instrument to act for the principal/ Applicant. Thereafter, all official documents and forms would be submitted by the local Agent/Attorney. Until replaced or substituted by another local Agent, the local Agent remains responsible for processing registrations of the marks, defending Oppositions (if any), provides address for local service of documents, and maintains renewals of the marks. A local Agent/Attorney may be replaced or substituted by executing another Power of Attorney/Authorization of Agent Form in favor of the succeeding Agent. NO formal notices are necessary and the Agent with the more recent Authorization is deemed to be the one with powers to act thenceforth.
After filing the application for trade mark registration, the Registrar issues an official acknowledgement reflecting the official number and filing date of the application. A preliminary search is conducted as to distinctiveness from existing and pending registrations. The Registrar examines the application for registrability taking into consideration possible conflicts with prior registered or pending marks and or inherent registrability of the mark. If the Registrar finds the trademark acceptable for registration, the applicant will be furnished with a letter/notice of acceptance.
Every trade mark application must be advertised in the Nigerian Trademark Journal, and is open to opposition for a period of two (2) months from the date of advertisement.
If no objections are received within the specified period or no objections are sustained, the Registrar will issue the applicant with a certificate of registration.
When issued, the Registration Certificate will reflect the date of initial filing as date of registration (i.e. date of filing acknowledgement).
Nigerian trade mark registrations have an initial validity of seven (7) years, and are thereafter indefinitely renewable for periods of fourteen (14) years. An application for renewal should be made not less than three (3) months from the due date.
In Nigeria, the legislation, which governs the registration of trademarks, is the Trade Marks Act (and the Trade Mark Regulations made pursuant to it). The government agency in Nigeria that is in charge of the registration of trademarks is the Trademarks, Patents And Designs Registry, Commercial Law Department, Federal Ministry Of Industry, Trade And Investment. Applications are made to the Registrar of Trade Marks.
Are you interested in Registering your Trademark with us? Please look at the FAQ below:
How much is the service?
We charge a fee of N100,000 (One hundred thousand naira) for this service. Payment is due in full before commencement of the service.
What does the service cover?
The service covers the entire process from application to grant of the Certificate. It also includes support in identifying and monitoring potential trademark infringers. It includes sending cease and desist letters (not more than 1 a month) to alleged infringers.
What is the registration process?
After the application is made, the applicant is provided with an acknowledgment immediately. Once the application is successful, the Trademark Registry will issue an Acceptance Letter. The Acceptance Letter is evidence of acceptance and registration and this is accepted by other organizations who request it to process other registration e.g. NAFDAC.
However there is a period during which members of the public can object to a registration. This is when the Trademark is published in the Trademark Journal, if a published Trademark is not objected to within the specified time frame, the applicant will be able to apply for a Certificate. The grant of the Certificate is the final stage of the process.
How long does the process take?
- Acknowledgment letter – 24 hours from submission
- Acceptance Letter: 4-6 weeks from submission
- Publication in Trademark Journal: 32 weeks from Acceptance Letter stage
- Grant of Certificate: 12 weeks from publication
What information do you need in order to commence?
After payment is made and received, we will require a scan of the logo, the name of the brand/trademark you intend to protect, and information about the line of business or type of service provided. We will then send some documents which will require your signature. Once signed and received we will file the application.
How can I make payment?
Payment can be made either online or by bank transfer. If you would like to make a payment by bank transfer. Please send us an email or call and we will provide our bank details.
Call Us:+2348071242459, +2348035674941