So you’ve got an amazing business idea and company name—what’s next? Do you need a trademark? When do you need it? How do you get one? What’s even a trademark?
A trademark is a word, symbol, labels, numerical, signature, device, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product and distinguishing the source of goods from one party or company to those of others in the same line of business. They are covered by Nigerian Trademark Act 1990 and the duration of trademarks is 7 years from filling date and renewal for further periods of 14 years.
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.
Check out any of these options for trademarking your business in Nigeria.
Write an application by yourself to Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry, Commercial Law Department of Federal Ministry of Industry.
But then, do a search to make sure that someone does not have a similar trademark. That you do not see such trademark on the market does not mean someone has not done it before.
Your application letter must contain your full names, passport photographs, and verifiable address even if you are not based in Nigeria.
Also, you need to attach the sample of your trademark, description of relevant information, diagrams, and design. Define the claim or protection (in details) you wish to lay on the trademark. You use this method to register trademark in Nigeria by yourself.
You can instruct a local agent/ lawyer to file the application for you providing the requirements mentioned earlier and a signed power of attorney/Authorization of agent to be completed in favour of your lawyer as the enabling instrument to act on your behalf.
He or she will file and follow it up. The agent will be responsible for processing the registration and defending any opposition if it arises, provides address of local services of documents, and maintains renewal of the trademarks. So, you can register trademark in Nigeria through a lawyer/agent.
Online application was introduced by the registry to make applications hassle free. You can do this on www.ipo.cldng.com/a_login.aspx.
After registration, you will get automatic acknowledgement from them. All necessary payments can be made through quickteller.com. The Registry then reviews the application to see if it meets the requirements for registration. This is another way to register trademark in Nigeria.
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