The step for trademark renewal in Nigeria is stipulated in the Trademark Act LFN 2004 (the Act), while the Trademark, Patents, and Design Registry under the Commercial Department of the Ministry of Trade and Investment is the authority responsible for the renewal of trademarks in Nigeria.
Upon registration of a trademark, the Act provides under Section 23(1), that the registered trademark shall be valid for an initial period of 7 years but may be renewed for a subsequent period of 14 years from time to time by the provisions of the Act. The Act does not provide for any restrictions as the number of times a trademark can be renewed, as long as the mark remains in use.
The Section of the Act provides thus;
"The registration of a trademark shall be for a period of seven years, but maybe renewed from time to time following the provisions of this section; Provided that, in relation to a registration as of a date before the commencement of this Act, this subsection shall have effect with the substitution of a period of fourteen years for the said period of seven years.
Section 23 (2) of the Act further provides for requirements for trademark renewal where it stipulates as follows:
"The Registrar shall, on an application made by the registered proprietor of a trademark in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed period, renew the registration of the trademark for a period of fourteen years from the date of expiration of the original registration or of the last renewal of registration, as the case may be (which date is in the section referred to as the expiration of the last registration)".
As provided by Section 23 (2) of the Act, the process for renewal is simply for the proprietor of the mark to file the prescribed application form and pay the required fees to the Trademark Registry, to be submitted alongside the initial expired Trademark Certificate, before the expiration of the initial registration or last renewal as the case may be.
The renewal application can be filed through accredited agents on the online Trademark portal or filed physically at the Trademark Registry, Abuja. The applicant is expected to provide information related to the applicant and also the trademark information.
The following information will be required for renewal of the trademark;
- Certificate of Registration of the Trademark
- The Power of Attorney executed in favor of the proprietor applicant;
- Evidence of payment of renewal fees;
- Particulars of the applicant such as the name, email address, and phone number;
- The File Number;
Failure for a proprietor to renew a mark before its expiration can be a ground for removal of a trademark in the Register of Trademark as provided under Section 23 (3) of the Trademark Act, which provides that;
"At the prescribed time before the expiration of the last registration of a trademark, the Registrar shall send a notice in the prescribed manner to the registered proprietor of the date of expiration and the conditions as to payment of fees and otherwise upon which a renewal of registration may be obtained, and, if at the expiration of the time prescribed in that behalf those conditions have not been duly complied with, the Registrar may remove the trademark from the register, subject to such conditions, if any, as to its restoration to the register as may be prescribed".
However, where a trademark has been removed from the register for lack of non-payment of the prescribed renewal fee, it shall still for the purpose of any application for the registration of a trademark during one year after the date of the removal, be deemed to be a trademark that is still on the Register of Trademark, except there is still no use of the mark, which has been removed during two years preceding the removal.
In sum, a trademark registered in Nigeria is valid for a term of 7 years. Upon registration, the proprietor must continue to protect its intellectual property by renewing the mark before its expiration, which shall subsequently be for 14 years to prevent the likelihood of it being removed from the register of the trademark by the Registrar.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.