A trademark is a symbol or a sign which differentiates the goods and services of one business from another one. You can register your trademark – a name, logo, slogan, domain name, shape, colour or sound with the Commercial Law department, Ministry of Trade and Investment in Nigeria.
This can legally protect your trademark from use by a competitor. The trademark must be distinctive for the goods and services that you provide, not be deceptive, illegal or immoral and not be similar to existing trademarks
1. Your full name(s), nationality and physical address
2. The trademark information: The representation must be clear and distinct. If to be filed online, soft copies are to be provided in jpeg format at a minimum of 1200 dpi.
3. For goods, a full range of goods covered or proposed to be covered by the trade mark.
4. A Power of Attorney simply signed, with full particulars of name(s), address (es) and nationality of the applicant(s). Full name(s) and capacity of the signatory when applicant is a firm/company.
PROCEDURES FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADEMARKS
1. The usual market practice is to instruct a local Attorney/Agent in Nigeria, who would file and process applications at the Nigerian Registry of Trade Marks, Patents, Designs and Copyright. A Power of Attorney/Authorization of Agent Form would be completed in favor of such local Agent, as the enabling instrument to act for the principal/ Applicant.
2. After filing the application for trade mark registration, the Registrar issues an official acknowledgement reflecting the official number and filing date of the application.
3. A search is conducted so as to confirm if it is different from existing or pending registration. If the Registrar finds the trademark acceptable for registration, the applicant will be furnished with a letter/notice of acceptance.
4. Every trade mark application must be advertised in the Nigerian Trademark Journal, and is open to opposition for a period of two (2) months from the date of advertisement.
5. If no objections are received within the specified period or no objections are sustained, the Registrar will issue the applicant with a certificate of registration.
6. When issued, the Registration Certificate will have the date of initial filing of registration
7. Nigerian trade mark registrations have an initial validity of seven (7) years, and are thereafter indefinitely renewable for periods of fourteen (14) years. An application for renewal should be made not less than three (3) months from the due date.
You can register your trademark either plainly (black and white) or in color. However, if a trademark is colored, the protection afforded is limited to that color only. If it is plain, registration affords protection to all colors of presentation of the trademark