Do you want to understand the concept and procedure involved in Trademark Registration in Nigeria? In this article, I will walk you through how to trademark a name in Nigeria through an accredited agent or attorney and every procedure.
What is Trademark?
In a gentleman’s way of understanding; the concept “Trademark” is any name, symbol, figure, colour (or combination of colours), letter, word, sound, smell, slogan or mark adopted and used by a manufacturer, user, owner (business owners) or merchant in order to designate his or her goods and to distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others.
It is important to note; that the item must be used in a commercial setting to obtain protection from the law.
Inventions and works of Authorship cannot become registered trademarks and should be protected with patents or copyrights respectively.
Who Can Register A Trademark in Nigeria?
Below are some businesses capable of being Trademarked
- Content Creators
- Food Manufacturers
- Fashion Business
- Graphic Designers
- Tech Business
- Financial Institutuions
- Caterers/Restaurant Owners
- Online Coaches/Public Speakers
and many others…
I wish to use this medium to advise that if you are a celebrity/entertainer with a stage name or skit, kindly ensure to trademark your stage name or skit because you are not the only one who thinks about certain things.
Classes of Trademark in Nigeria
Under Nigerian Law, we have a total of 45 classes of trademark registration. Classes 1 to 34 cover items regarded as goods, while classes 35 to 45 are exclusively for service-based businesses.
You download Trademark Classes PDF to have full insight into what business falls under each of these classes
How Can I Tell If A Business Is Trademarked?
Before going into Trademark registration, you want to be sure if that which you want to Trademark has not been Trademarked before,
- Search for federal registered Trademarks by using the free trademark database on the USPTO’s website
- To start, visit the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Business Center on USPTO Website and choose the search
- Follow the instructions as seen on your screen
Cost of Trademark in Nigeria
The cost of Trademarking a brand varies depending on the consultant or trademark agent handling the project. However, the cost range of getting a trademark in Nigeria is about ₦90,000 to ₦120,000
Importance of Trademarks
Why should I trademark my brand? this is an obvious question every business owner will ask to assess the level of relevance of having a trademark to his or her brand.
Below are some vital reasons why you should prov
It secured your brand name
Trademark also secures your brand logo
With a registered trademark, your business breeds professionalism
No one can use your brand name, logo or initiative without legal approval. Otherwise, you could take the person to court and file a fee
Trademark Registration in Nigeria
There are basically two stages involved in registering a trademark in Nigeria
- First sage: This involves doing a search and also getting an acknowledgement and acceptance letter in the end
- Second stage: This involves the publication and certificate which takes a longer period of time to process after the first stage has been completed.
The process of registration under the first stage is summarized below
1. Availability Search
If you are an accredited agent already, the first thing to do is to conduct an availability search at the Registry, to determine whether the mark is available under the relevant class.
Where the trademark is not in conflict with any existing trademark, under the relevant class, the accredited agent can proceed to register the mark;
Upon confirmation of the availability of the trademark, the accredited agent will be required to fill the relevant statutory application form detailing the personal information of the owner of the mark as well as the name and/ or specimen of the logo or mark which the applicant intends to register.
Upon submission of the application form and payment of the required fees, the Registry will issue an Acknowledgement Form to the accredited agent confirming receipt of the application;
Upon acknowledgement of the application, the trademark will be examined by the Registry to confirm its distinctiveness and to ensure that it is not in conflict with any previously registered trademark. An Acceptance Form will be issued when the trade mark is deemed satisfactory by the Registry
It is important to note that these process from 1 to 3 usually takes between 2 to 3 weeks to process.
4. Publication of the Trademark
After the Acceptance Form has been issued by the Registry, the trademark application will be published in the Trademarks Journal.
The publication is a public notification to interested parties who may have any reservations about the registration of the trademark. Any person who may have an objection to the registration of the trademark is required to file the same with the Registry within 2 months of the publication.
5. Issue of a Certificate of Registration
Where no objection is filed against the registration of the trademark or where such objection is withdrawn or overruled, the applicant will be issued a Certificate of Registration by the Registry.
Renewal of Trademark
Trademark lasts for a period of 7 years and can be renewed after an expiration from time to time. Every subsequent registration lasts for 14 years.
The requirements for a trademark renewal are as follows;
- Trademark Certificate
- Power of Attorney appointing the agent and
- Payment of the prescribed fee
Do note that this renewal process will still require the services of a trademark agent in Nigeria
How To Become An Accredited Trademark Agent in Nigeria
For safety and professionalism, it is always advisable to employ the services of an accredited agent to handle your corporate needs.
The same applies to trademarks in Nigeria. For a seamless process of registration, you will need to hire an agent or accredited attorney to do it for you.
- Read Also: CAC Accredited Agents in Lagos
But who are these attorneys or agents?
Attorneys are professionals in law who specialize in trademark matters. In many countries, trademark attorneys have rights of audience before intellectual property courts, and benefit from attorney-client privilege.
To become an accredited Trademark in Nigeria;
- You must be a Lawyer
- A legal practitioner
- Corpers with a legal licence (called to the ball)
- Chattered accountants
- Individuals with professional knowledge and experience can be accredited, and agents
Documents For Trademark Accreditation
You will have to take the following documents to the Trademark headquarters in Abuja
- Means of Identification
- Other relevant documents
As a business owner who wishes to carry out a trademark, I hope this guide has been insightful walking you through the procedure for carrying out a trademark registration in Nigeria through an accredited agent.
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