The understanding of trademarks in Nigeria appears limited to word marks and logo designs or devices as these are the conventional trademarks in the jurisdiction. While recognition of unconventional marks may be inferred from the Trademarks Act 1990, not many such applications are filed. However, a recent decision which creates a precedent for the courts to protect unconventional trademark rights may give applicants confidence to file and register their distinctive colours and shapes.
In Nigeria, trademark owners have various options for enforcing their rights where a mark is infringed, including sending a cease and desist letter, filing an opposition notice and instituting actions for infringement or passing off. This article answers FAQs about the enforcement of trademark rights.
In Nigeria, a registered trademark becomes vulnerable to cancellation if there has been no genuine use of the mark during a continuous period of five years or more. To prove genuine use, the mark must have been used as a trademark in the market and the owner must not simply be hoarding the rights to the mark. This article answers FAQs about the post-registration stage of the Nigerian trademark procedure.
In Nigeria, trademark applications can be refused on absolute grounds, such as if the mark is deceptive or confusing, or on relative grounds, such as if the application was made in bad faith. These grounds can be used to initiate opposition proceedings, in which the applicant and the opponent take part in an exchange of pleadings before the registrar makes a decision on the application. This article answers FAQs with respect to office actions in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, trademark rights are governed by the Trademarks Act, the Trademarks Regulations and the Merchandise Marks Act. Nigeria is also a party to various international treaties, such as the Paris Convention, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and the Nice Agreement. This article answers FAQs with respect to filing trademark applications in Nigeria.