Trademark application Nigeria

Trademark registration Nigeria

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What are the costs of a trademark registration in Nigeria?

The costs of trademark registration in Nigeria depend on the number of Nice classes that are relevant to the trademark. Most marks need 1 to 3 classes, but it is possible to get  protection in all of classes 1 through 45 of the Nice classification.


How do you get a trademark registration in Nigeria?

Registering a trademark in Nigeria is essential to obtain exclusive rights over it. The country has a first-to-file jurisdiction, which means that whoever registers the trademark first gets the rights to it. Merely using a product or service on the Nigerian market is not enough. It is also not a condition for submitting an application for trademark protection. However, it can positively contribute to the chance of success, since the use of a brand contributes to its distinctiveness; an important requirement for the possibility of obtaining trademark rights.


What are the steps in the trademark registration process in Nigeria?

Applying for a trademark in Nigeria is done through the Trademark, Patents and Designs Registry, belonging to the Commercial Law Department of the Ministry of Commerce. After receipt of the application, this office will give a confirmation, which will also be provided with a unique number that is linked to the registration in progress. If, after an initial formal assessment, the patent office is of the opinion that your brand name and/or logo meets the applicable requirements, it will be published in the trade gazette.

After this publication, a period of two months starts, the so-called opposition periods. Third parties can then object to the trademark protection you have applied for. How successful such an objection is depends on the exact situation. If no notice of objection is submitted, or if it is rejected, you have successfully registered a trademark in Nigeria. You will also receive a certificate that serves as proof of registration.


Prior to the actual procedure: the trademark search

Before you start the process to register a trademark in Nigeria, it is highly recommended that you perform a good trademark search. By consulting the existing databases, you can check whether the same brand name or logo is already being used, or whether an application is pending. By not skipping this check step, you can make minor adjustments to your brand if necessary, so that there is no confusing similarity and your application is not rejected.


What can be reasons for rejection?

Anyone wishing to register a trademark in Nigeria must take into account the applicable grounds for rejecting an application. In the country concerned, these are the following points:

  • The submitted application does not meet the definition of a trademark
  • It is the same as or the same as an existing trademark or an application that has already been processed
  • The brand will cause confusion and may be perceived as misleading
  • The application goes against public order or the prevailing morality
  • The mark is identical to, or an imitation of, an emblem used by the state or other government organization

How does validity of your registration work?

If you want to register a mark in Nigeria, it does not have to be in use yet. This rule changes from five years after the registration date. If you are not yet active with the brand on the Nigerian market, there is a chance that it will be lifted on the initiative of an objection lodged by third parties. Have you been able to successfully apply for a trademark in Nigeria? This is valid for seven years, starting on the application date. Extension can be requested at the end of the term and is valid for fourteen years. You can request an extension from three months before the end date. There is a grace period of one month.


Applying for Combined Trademark Protection in Nigeria

If you want to register a combined brand name in Nigeria, i.e. a brand name that consists of both word elements and figurative elements, you should be aware that the exclusive protection that you receive with a registration only applies to this exact combination. This does not mean that you cannot use the individual elements separately for commercial purposes, but it does mean that they are not separately protected.

If you also want to be able to protect the individual elements against use by third parties, then choose to register this part of your trademark separately in Nigeria. If a third party does not use your entire brand, but only the relevant part of it, you can still take action against it. This is not possible without separate protection. You can only file an objection if the person or company offers the same or very similar goods or services.


Is Nigeria a member of WIPO?

Registering a brand name in Nigeria is not only possible via the local (national) route, but also internationally. The country has been affiliated with WIPO since 1995. One of WIPO’s external offices is even located in the capital, Abuja. Extension of brand protection at an international level is therefore possible in this country. Before you register a trademark in Nigeria via this international route, you first need a basic registration.

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Trademark registration Nigeria