The Nigerian authorities have for some time been keen to split the Registry of Trademarks, Patents and Designs into separate registries. The initial thinking was that it would be split into three separate registries – one for Patents, one for Designs and one for Trademarks – but there were doubts as to whether this was lawful, given that the fields of patents and designs are covered by a single piece of legislation, the Patents and Designs Act, Cap 344 of 1990.

A split has now been confirmed, but there will in fact simply be two registries. There will in due course be a:

  • Patents and Designs Registry, housed by the Patents and Designs Unit of the Commercial Law Department of the Ministry the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
  • Trademarks Registry, housed by the Trademarks Unit of the same department.

This decision is confirmed in a letter from the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment dated 22 October 2018.

We will communicate further on this matter when we have greater clarity on issues such as dates.

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