To register a trademark in Nigeria, a formal application should be made at the Registry of Trade Marks, Patents and Design. The application should contain the following:
- The applicant’s full name and physical address
- The applicant’s nationality
- The details of the trademark that needs to be registered e.g colour, symbol, logo, shape
It should be noted that if a lawyer is making the application on behalf of the owner of the trademark, the lawyer must have a power of attorney which must be signed by the owner. This Power of Attorney is a legal document giving the lawyer the power to apply for the trademark on behalf of the owner.
PROCEDURE FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADEMARKS
After filing the application for registration of the trade mark, the Registrar will issue a formal document which will show the official number and the date of filing the application. The Registrar will also conduct a search so as to be sure that the trademark is not the same with or similar to any existing or pending trademark.
The Registrar will also inspect the application by checking that the trademark does not clash with any other existing or pending trademark. If the Registrar is satisfied with the application, the applicant would then be asked to pay the necessary fees. Once the fees are paid, he would be given a letter/notice of acceptance.
According to the laws of Nigeria, every application for trademark must be advertised in the Nigerian Trademark Journal, and anyone who is against the registration of the trademark should oppose it within a period of two (2) months from the date of advertisement. If there is an objection or if the trademark already exists, the application would be rejected.
But if there is no objection within the two (2) months, the Registrar would approve the trademark and issue a Certificate of Registration. On the Certificate, the date of filing the application will be stated as the date of registration. The trademark will also be published in the trademark journal.
Trademark registrations usually last for a period of seven (7) years, after which the trademark will be renewed for a period of fourteen (14) years. To apply for a renewal of the trademark, the application should be made at least three (3) months before the trademark expires. It should also be noted that if a trademark is not used within five (5) years without any good reason, the Registrar has the power to cancel the trademark.