Have you seen this ® symbol next to any brand name?
If you have, it shows that the brand in question is a registered trademark. This means that the owner has the backing of the court to take legal action against the offender who used it without their permission.
So in this post, you will learn how to register a trademark that will distinguish you from others.
Let’s dive in.
The government agency in charge of this registration include:
- Patents and Design Registration
- Commercial Law Department
- Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment
They are charged with the responsibility of registering trademarks and other related documents.
Nigeria works with the Nice Agreement and under this Agreement, there are “45 classes” of trademarks. So registering your trademark under the appropriate class is important.
Only accredited companies and individuals are allowed to register trademarks in Nigeria.
To get your trademark registered, you need the services of an agent or patent attorney to handle the process for you.
What are the Things Eligible for Registration
The eligible things for trademark registration include:
And for it to be eligible for registration, it must have at least any of the following:
- Name of the company or individual represented in a specific manner
- The applicant’s signature
- Invented word(s)
- Any distinctive symbol or mark
Trademark Registration Requirements
The requirements include the following:
- Logo, this may include Device and or Words
- The details of the applicant
- The products or services to be covered by the trademark
- Authorization of agent or the power of attorney
Reasons for Registering Your Trademark
First, your trademark can be an asset. This means that it can either appreciate or depreciate.
Let’s consider some examples of trademarks that are appreciated and they include Facebook, Apple, Coca-Cola, LinkedIn, etc.
This can only happen if you can grow your business reputation and customer base. You have to start by making your brand more valuable.
So this means as your business grows, registering your trademark should be your top priority.
Third, registering your trademark will give you an exclusive use or right of the trademark. That’s why you must register it, because unlike the copyright, where there’s no protection automatically vested in the owner.
This shows that you have the power to take any legal action against anyone that uses it without your permission.
Also, understand that this process is different from business registration. So I recommend you hire the services of a lawyer to handle this process for you because your trademark will distinguish your products or services from others.
The above reasons show clearly that registering your trademark is an investment.
Process of Registering a Trademark
The registration process of trademarks in Nigeria can be divided into three major stages. And they include the following:
1. Trademark search
First, reach out to an agent, usually a lawyer, and brief them about your attention to have your trademark registered.
2. Trademark application
Since there’s no look-like trademark found, you will then apply to register your trademark. The Registrar will issue to you an “Acceptance Letter”, that’s if your application is considered registrable.
3. Application for trademark certificate
The registrar will only give you a certificate of registration if no objection was received after the publication in the journal.
When the certificate is issued to you, on it will be written the date of your first filing, which will stand as the date of registration.
While if your trademark is registered in black and white, it can be presented in any color.
Now I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comment box.