Comparative Guides
Welcome to Mondaq Comparative Guides - your comparative global Q&A guide.
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Results: 4 Answers
Trademarks
3.
Registration procedure
3.1
Which governing body (ie, trademark office) controls the registration process?
 
Nigeria
The registration procedure for trademarks in Nigeria is controlled and regulated by the Nigerian Trade Marks, Patents and Designs Registry, under the Commercial Department of the Ministry of Trade and Investments.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
3.2
What fees does the trademark office charge for an application, during prosecution and for issuance of a registration?
 
Nigeria
The official fees charged by the Trade Marks Registry in Nigeria may be broken down as follows:

  • official fee for a single trademark registration in one class – approximately $41.66; and
  • official clearance search fee – approximately: $4.16.

Other ancillary costs may also be incurred.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
3.3
Does the trademark office use the Nice Classification scheme?
 
Nigeria
Yes, the Trade Marks Registry adopts the Nice Classification scheme in the registration of trademarks in Nigeria. Trademarks may be registered for goods or services.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
3.4
Are ‘class-wide’ applications allowed, or must the applicant identify the specific goods or services for which the mark will be used?
 
Nigeria
It is permissible to claim protection under the whole class heading; if this is claimed, the protection will cut across the whole class. Alternatively, if a specific line of goods or services is being targeted, a narrower description may be preferred.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
3.5
Must an applicant have a bona fide intention to use the trademark for the goods or services identified in the application in order to apply for registration?
 
Nigeria
An applicant is expected to register only a trademark which it has a bona fide intention to use; otherwise, the lack of intention will indicate non-use attributable to the registrant and the mark, upon being challenged, may be struck off the Trade Marks Register as abandoned.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
3.6
Does the trademark office perform relative examination of trademark applications (ie, searches for earlier conflicting marks)?
 
Nigeria
Yes, upon request and payment of the requisite fees, the Trade Marks Registry will conduct a preliminary search to confirm the availability of the mark. An application may still be made without conducting a search, but there is a risk that it will be refused registration if, in the process of registration, it is discovered to conflict with an existing mark.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
3.7
What types of examinations does the trademark office perform other than relative examination?
 
Nigeria
Apart from the examination conducted to determine whether the trademark does not conflict with any other registered trademark, no other examination is carried out by the Trade Marks Registry.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
3.8
Apart from confusion with a senior mark, descriptiveness and genericness, are there other grounds under which a mark is ineligible for registration, such as public policy reasons?
 
Nigeria
Yes – see question 2.3.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
3.9
Is there a separate or supplemental register on which descriptive marks may be registered?
 
Nigeria
No, but the law allows for registrations in either Part A or Part B of the Trade Marks Register. A descriptive mark may be registered in Part B of the register if it is capable of distinguishing the products in respect of which registration is sought from other products. Before filing an application, the trademark owner may seek the registrar’s preliminary advice on whether its mark is registrable in either Part A or Part B.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
3.10
Can a third party object to registration of a mark before the application has been published (eg, by letter of protest to the trademark office)?
 
Nigeria
The statutory timeframe for an objection/opposition is two months after publication of the application in the Trade Marks Journal. While an application may be objected to in writing before the opposition stage, the registrar is at liberty to direct that the party making such objection wait until the opposition period and file an opposition accordingly. A third party may also send a cease and desist letter to dissuade the trademark owner from proceeding with the registration.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
3.11
Must the applicant use the trademark commercially in order to obtain a registration?
 
Nigeria
An applicant need not have used the trademark commercially in order to obtain registration; intent to use is considered sufficient to obtain registration of the mark.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
3.12
How much time does it typically take from filing an application to the first office action?
 
Nigeria
For online applications, acknowledgements are immediately available upon payment of filing fees. Otherwise, on average, it takes approximately five to 10 working days to obtain an acknowledgment for a manual application, and five to 10 working days for the acceptance letter to be issued.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
3.13
How much time does it typically take from filing an application to publication?
 
Nigeria
On average, 18 to 24 months.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.