HOW TO REGISTER YOUR TRADEMARK IN NIGERIA
A trademark is a design, logo, symbol or a sign which distinguishes the goods and services of one business from another one. You can register a name, logo, slogan, domain name, shape, colour or sound as your distinct trademark with the Commercial Law department, Ministry of Trade and Investment in Nigeria.
Registration of your trademark protects your unique symbol, sign, logo or design from hijack and competitors as your trademark differentiates your goods and services and protects them as well.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE REGISTRATION OF TRADEMARK
- Applicant(s) full name(s), nationality and address
- The trademark information: i.e your name, logo, design, symbol, colours or phrase and the class of trademark your goods or service fall under.
Note that there are 45 classes of trademark. Class 1-34 cover goods while Class 35-45 cover services. Registration of a particular trademark under one class is an exclusive protection under that class only. That name or logo is still available for registration under the other 44 classes of trademark. In some cases, businesses protect their trademark in more than 2 classes of trademark.
- A Power of Attorney signed, with full particulars of name(s), address (es) and nationality of the applicant(s). Full name(s) and capacity of the signatory where applicant is a firm/company.
PROCEDURES FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADEMARKS
- it is advised to engage an Attorney/Agent in Nigeria, who would file and process the application at the Trademark registry by a power of Attorney/Authorization of Agent Form as the enabling instrument to act for the principal/ Applicant.
- After submission of the application for trade mark registration, the Registrar issues an official acknowledgement.
- A search is conducted so as to confirm that the trademark is available and fit for registration. If the Registrar finds the trademark acceptable for registration, the applicant will be given a notice of acceptance.
- The 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 there are no objections or oppositions within the specified period or where no objections or oppositions are sustained, the Registrar will issue the applicant a certificate of registration.
- When issued, the Registration Certificate will have the date of initial filing of registration
- Nigerian trade mark registrations have an initial validity period of seven (7) years, and at the expiration of the initial 7 years becomes renewable for a period of fourteen (14) years. An application for renewal should be made not less than three (3) months from the due date.
You can register your trademark in more than 2 classes of trademark, where your goods and services fall under different classes of trademark.
You can either register your business name or logo as your trademark or you can register both your business name and logo.
You can register your trademark either in black and white or in color. However, if a trademark is coloured, the protection afforded is limited to that color only. If it is plain, registration affords protection to all colours of presentation of the trademark.
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