In Nigeria, the trademark logo is often referred to as the device or image mark. For example, the trademark ‘ABC and Device’ would indicate that an applicant seeks to file an application combining a wordmark (in this case ABC) with a device. By including the ‘Device’, the applicant indicates that they are seeking to register the logo attached to the application for registration in the same class as the wordmark
Although the device can take almost any form, the key thing to keep in mind is that it must be capable of identifying and distinguishing specific goods or services from other goods and services. The device can be in the following forms:
- A logo or image
- A combination of letters, words, or a design
- Product shapes, etc.
Logos (without letters or additional special characters) are one of the most common form of devices submitted with trademark applications in Nigeria.
A logo can be described as a design which becomes a mark when used in close association with the goods or services being marketed.
The logo device needs to only distinguish goods and services sold under the mark from other goods and services. One example of a logo device is the apple logo.
Last year, Apple Inc. applied to register the ‘Apple logo’ in several classes in Nigeria. Application were filed to register this mark in classes 25, 37, 38.
COMBINATION OF LETTERS AND DESIGNS
The device could be a combination of letters and a design. One example of a device that combines letters and a design is the KFC’s ‘IT’S FINGER LICKIN’ GOOD’ device.
In 2015, KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS filed separate applications to register ‘IT’S FINGER LICKIN’ GOOD’ as a wordmark and a logo in Nigeria. Several application were filed in classes 29, 30, and 43.
It is not uncommon for companies and individuals seeking to register trademarks in Nigeria to use Slogans. Slogans from advertising campaigns are often used as trademarks. Some example of some slogans that have trademark rights associated with them include: McDonalds – “I’m Lovin’ It”, Red Bull – “It Gives You Wings!”, L’Oreal – “Because You’re Worth It”, Nike – “Just Do It”, HSBC – “The World’s Local Bank”, and Panasonic – “Ideas for Life”, Apple – “Think Different”.
In 2012, Panasonic Corporation filed separate applications to register “Panasonic Ideas for Life” in classes 8,9, and 11. In 2013, Nike International Ltd., filed separate application to register “Just Do It” in Classes 9, 18, and 41.
PICTURE OF PRODUCTS OR PRODUCT SHAPES
Sometimes, applicants for trademark registration simply use a picture of the actual product or an image of the product shape as the device for their trademark application.
Earlier this year, Martell & Co, filed an application to register “Martell (Aged in red barrels) Bottle in Series” in classes 33.
This article is intended to provide general information about the subject matter. Professional legal advice should be sought about specific circumstances. For more information on filing trademarks in Nigeria, please email firstname.lastname@example.org