Patent Registration in Nigeria – Intellectual Property – Nigeria
Patent Registration in Nigeria
What is a Patent?
A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
A patent grants the inventor a temporary but exclusive monopoly to reap the profits from the invention. It gives the inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the claimed invention in that country without his consent, for the duration of the patent. A.A. TEJUOSO & CO. is one of the most popular law firms in Nigeria that provides legal services related to Patents.
The Procedure for Patent Application
Nigeria has a centralized system for patent registration; made up of the Registrar of Patents and Designs, and the Register in which patents are recorded. The applicable law is the Patents and Designs Act of 1971, while the guidelines on the procedure are contained in the Patent Rules.
Criteria for Registration:
- In order to obtain a Patent in Nigeria, an invention must be:
New and have an inventive step which is not obvious to a personal knowledge and experience in the technical field.
- Capable of being made or used in some kind of industry.
Not be against public policy or morality.
- If your application meets the requirements for Patent registration set out at 1-3 above you can file an application with the registry. A Nigeria Intellectual Properties attorney would be the best option if you are facing difficulties for the Patent registration process.
An application must relate to only one invention but can include in connection with that invention; claims for:
- any number of products;
- any number of manufacturing processes for those products;
- and any number of applications of those products.
Types of Patent registration in Nigeria
Nigeria is a signatory to both the Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property which means that you can file any of the following types of patent applications:
PCT or Convention Patent
A national phase of a PCT application previously filed with WIPO and which would have designated Nigeria as part of the PCT application. There is a 30-month deadline from the earliest priority claimed in the PCT application to file the application in Nigeria.
Under the Paris Convention, an application which has been filed in another convention country can be filed in Nigeria claiming the priority from the foreign application. Such an application will be treated as having been filed on the same date on which the corresponding foreign application was filed provided it is filed within twelve months.
A non-convention patent application is an application patent which is first filed in Nigeria and seeking registration in Nigeria. This type of application is also known as a ‘local patent’.
In our second part, we will look at the steps involved in the filing and obtaining the grant of a Patent in Nigeria.