1. Is Registering a Business or Company Name with the Corporate Affairs Commission the Same as Trademark Protection?
No, registering a business or company name with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) does not confer trademark rights in the name. The business or company name is simply the official name under which a company chooses to transact business. It does not provide additional protection rather it is useful for administrative and tax purposes.
While a business or company name will not prevent others from operating a business under a similar name, a trademark protects your brand giving you the exclusive right to use it to identify your goods or services to the public.
2. How Long Does Trademark Registration Last in Nigeria or How Long is a Trademark Valid?
A registered trademark is valid for 7 years from the date of application and can be renewed for a period of 14 years from the date of expiration of the original registration or of the last renewal of registration.
3. Do I Need to Conduct a Trademark Search Before Filing My Application?
Searches are usually recommended before filing a new trademark application although it is optional to do so. Lawyers will review results to see if there are potential conflicting marks and prepare search reports and opinions based on their findings..
4. Can I Transfer My Registered Trademark to Another Business or Can I Transfer a Trademark Registered in My Personal Name to a Company I Later Register with the CAC?
In many cases, new entrepreneurs file trademarks in their personal name. But as their businesses grow, so does the need to transfer the trademark to a company they have registered. In such cases, the need to transfer the trademark and the registration arises. Since trademarks are one of the most valuable assets to many businesses, they can be sold and transferred. In order to transfer a trademark in Nigeria, an assignment of rights must be recorded with the trademarks registry.
5. Can Multi-Class Trademark Application be Filed in Nigeria?
No, multi-class trademark applications are not allowed in Nigeria although a trademark can be registered in more than one class. Separate trademark applications must be filed in each class of interest. Applications can be lodged in 45 different classes depending on the goods and/or services for which the trademark will be used.
If you would like to file a trademark application in Nigeria, our team of experts are happy to assist you. You may begin the process here