Comparative Guides
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Results: 4 Answers
Trademarks
6.
Rights of registered and unregistered marks
6.1
What, if any, protection is afforded to unregistered trademarks?
 
Nigeria
In case of infringement, the owner of an unregistered trademark can bring an action for passing off before the federal high courts either alone or as part of an infringement action (Section 3 of the Trade Marks Act). For a claim of passing off to succeed, the claimant must prove that it has acquired goodwill in the relevant goods or services, and that there has been a misrepresentation from which it has suffered injury.

For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
6.2
What legal rights are conferred by a trademark registration?
 
Nigeria
A registered trademark confers on the owner the exclusive right to use the mark and the right to sue for infringement in the event of unlawful use. It further serves as constructive notice to the public and as prima facie evidence of the ownership and validity of the trademark. A registered trademark also affords the owner the following rights:

  • to obtain a court order (injunction) to stop unlawful use by an infringer;
  • to grant a licence to another to use the registered trademark in return for licence fees, royalties or other payments;
  • to assign the trademark;
  • to bequeath the trademark in a will; and
  • to achieve incontestable status after a seven-year period under Section 14(1) of the Trademarks Act.
For more information about this answer please contact: John C. Onyido from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co.
6.3
If there is a separate register for descriptive marks, what legal rights are conferred by registration therein?
 
Nigeria
See question 3.9. Owners of trademarks registered under Part B of the register enjoy similar rights as owners of trademarks registered under Part A. These rights include the exclusive right to use the registered mark in Nigeria in relation to the goods or services for which it is registered and the right to prevent infringement. However, in an infringement action, the owner of a trademark registered under Part B is not entitled to an injunction or other relief where the defendant establishes that the alleged offending mark is unlikely to deceive or cause confusion among consumers.

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