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People mostly wonder what Trademark really is and for those that know what a Trademark is their worry is how one can register her Trademark. Worry no more!  In this article we will explain what a Trademark is and how one can be able to register her Trademark to protect it from theft.


A trademark is a symbol or a sign which differentiates your goods and services from another. It is a recognizable name or design, which is legally registered and used to identify and distinguish a product or entity from others.

You can register your trademark which can be any of the following; a name, logo, slogan, domain name, shape, colour or sound etc.

The registration is done with Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry Commercial Law Department of Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment in Nigeria unlike company registration which is done with Corporate Affairs Commission.

The registration of Trade Mark legally protects your trademark from use by a competitor. It gives the owner the right to use such registration to the exclusion of others from violating or willfully copying or usage by a third party without consent. A registered owner of a trademark may institute an action in Court against infringements or unauthorized use of their trademarks.

Your trademark must be distinctive for the goods and services you provide. It must not be deceptive, illegal or immoral and not be similar to existing trademarks.



For you to register your Trademark, you will have to engage the services of a lawyer or an agent with the trademark or the description of a symbol or logo or design to be registered. The Lawyer or agent will file and process applications at the Nigerian Registry of Trade Marks, Patents, Designs and Copyright. A Power of Attorney or Authorization of Agent Form will be completed in favor of the Lawyer or Agent, as the enabling instrument to act for the principal or Applicant.

After filing the application for trade mark registration, the Registrar issues an official acknowledgement reflecting the official number and filing date of the application.

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 or notice of acceptance.

It is important to note that different payments are to be made at this stage for search and application processing.

Every trademark application must be advertised in the Nigerian Trademark Journal, the advert will include the conditions and limitations attached to the application and is open to opposition for a period of two (2) months from the date of advertisement.

By virtue of this publication, any interested person would have the opportunity to oppose or object to the registration. Any person or organization who considers that a trademark being sought may likely confuse or mislead the public in light of any pre-existing trademarks may protest to the Registrar to stop such registration. If no objections are received within the specified period of 2 months from the date of publication or no objections are sustained, the Registrar will issue the applicant with a certificate of registration.

However, where any other person or entity successfully challenged the applicant in opposing a trademark registration, the Registrar will issue a letter of refusal to the applicant.

The Registration Certificate will have the date of initial filing of registration. The certificate of registration indicates the evidence of due registration and completion of all processes. It confers a right on the proprietor or the owner to use the trademark to the exclusion of every other entity.

Take note that the trademark registration have an initial validity of seven (7) years, and is 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.

Take further note that 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.


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