What's Trademark Got To Do With It?

What’s Trademark ™ got to do with it? Pt. 2

In the first part to this post, I dealt with what Trademark is, the functions and benefits. If you missed it, click the link, read it, come back and continue this.

Effect of registration of trademark

Registration of a trademark is evidence that such a mark is valid. However, where a trademark is not in use for a period of five years or more, it can be removed from the trademarks register. Registration of a trademark in a foreign country will afford the owner of such mark the priority of registration in Nigeria provided (a) the foreign country is a convention country (b) the registration in Nigeria is within six months from the application for protection in the foreign convention country. Where a trademark has not been registered, it can be used by anyone and the owner will not have any claim to exclusive ownership. On the other hand, if a person who is not a registered user of a trademark uses a mark which is similar or identical to a registered trademark in such a way as to likely cause confusion or deceit, it will amount to an infringement and the owner will be entitled to damages and injunction to restrain use and/or deliver the said trademark up to the lawful owner.

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Duration & renewal of Trademark

In Nigeria, a trademark gives the applicant a monopoly over the use of such registered mark for a period of seven (7) years and renewable for successive periods of fourteen (14) years. An application for renewal must be made not less than three months from the due date of the initial registration. Although, registration confers on the owner of a trademark, the right to exclusive use of such mark, the owner may assign the trademark to another person for use. Such assignment gives the other person the authority to use the trademark and the assignment must also be registered.

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Procedure for registration of Trademarks in Nigeria in a nutshell

  1. Power of Attorney authorising Trademarks Agent/Attorney
  2. Availability search for Trademark in the relevant class (fee payable)
  3. Filing of Trademark for registration (fee payable)
  4. Official acknowledgement of application by Registrar
  5. Examination of trademark
  6. Refusal/Acceptance of application/mark by registrar
  7. Publication for opposition if accepted; or hearing of defence by applicant’s representative, if refused
  8. Issuance of certificate after payment of prescribed fee.

 

*Please note that adequate professional guidance should be sought as this does not constitute legal advice and is solely for enlightenment purposes.

About the Author

Teingo Inko-Tariah
Teingo Inko-Tariah is a Port-Harcourt based corporate commercial legal practitioner who is passionate about supporting the growth of small businesses and start-ups.