PROCEDURE FOR TRADE MARK REGISTRATION IN NIGERIA
The registration of trade mark process is administered by the Registrar of Trade Marks at the Trade Marks Registry Abuja.
What can be registered as a Trade Mark?
Section 67 of the Trademark Act defines a trade mark as:
A mark used or proposed to be used in relation to goods for the purpose of indicating, or so as to indicate, a connection in the course of trade between the goods and some person having the right either as proprietor or as registered user to use the mark whether with or without any indication of the identity of the person.
1. Appointment of a Trademark Agent
This is usually done by providing a power of attorney in favour a trade mark firm or attorney. The Power of Attorney can be simply signed and does not require notarisation or legalisation.
FORM 1 is then filed by the local agent. The form is addressed to the Registrar. It is mandatory for the authorization of an agent to indicate that all former appointment of agents are revoked.
Step 1. Preparation of power of attorney authorising an agent to file a trade mark application on behalf of the applicant.
Step 2. Pre-registration searches to limit potential refusal of the application or opposition proceeding later on. Recommended but not required.
Step 3. Provided the pre-registration search indicates the mark is clear for registration, an application for registration of mark is submitted in FORM 2.
This is accompanied by a representation of the mark.
Note that where the mark contains words in non-English language or words other than Roman, it must be translated or transliterated, as the case may be, into English.
Step 4. Providing a list of goods and/or services for which the mark is seeking registration together with the applicant’s details.
Step 5. After submission of application:
i. Issuance of the acknowledgement to the agent, showing the number, date of filing, and other information about the application and applicant and the device. Through the Acknowledgement, the Registrar informs the applicant that the application is receiving attention.
ii. Examination of the application by the Registrar to ascertain if the mark conflicts with any previously registered mark or is otherwise prohibited.
iii. A successful examination will result in the issuance of an Acceptance Notice. The Acceptance will notify the applicant that the application will be advertised in the Trade Marks Journal.
Step 6. Advertisement in the Trade Mark Journal.
Step 7. Opposition to application after advertisement must be filed within 2 months of advertisement. Please click here for more information on Opposition proceedings in Nigeria.
Step 8. If no opposition is received then on the payment of the Sealing fees the Registrar will cause to issue a certificate of registration.
Step 9 The certificate is for a duration of seven (7) years, and must be endorsed with the mark, the Class, and be assigned a registration number.
At the end of the initial seven year registration period the trade mark can be renewed for subsequent periods of fourteen (14) years.