May 28, 2017

Welcome to Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch!

Mission

Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch Inc. (NLIPW) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to promoting awareness about intellectual property rights and deepening discussions on the problem of counterfeiting in Sub-Saharan Africa. To achieve its core objectives, NLIPW is constantly engaged in research to make information readily available to the public in order to prevent infringement of patents, copyrights and trademarks. NLIPW also tracks the activities of regulatory institutions and other organizations that are geared towards promoting public health and safety, and deterring product counterfeiting in various jurisdictions.

Main Programs

I. Public Access to Statutes Initiative

NLIPW, through its Public Access to Statutes Initiative, created a database of laws and treaties dealing with Intellectual Property matters. We strongly believe in the need to make laws accessible to the general public and in furtherance of this principle, access to laws and treaties contained in our online database is free for all users

NLIPW also provides a database of law Cases and Principles. Through this database, users can freely access cases from the Federal High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in Nigeria.  Cases in this database specifically focus on copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial designs, and product liability and enforcement in Nigeria.

The NLIPW eLibrary collection tool links readers to a variety of online articles, research papers and books on Intellectual Property.

II. Anti-Counterfeiting Awareness Program

NLIPW set up a newsroom about 3 years ago to regularly disseminate up-to-date and sometimes breaking news reports on anti-counterfeiting activities and cases brought against persons accused of product counterfeiting across the world. NLIPW strongly believes that acts of counterfeiting are deleterious to public health and safety, as well as cause great economic harm. We monitor the development and passage of legislation, guidelines, regulations, and trade agreements that increase national and international enforcement mechanisms against counterfeiting. 

III. NLIPW Newsroom for Investigative Reporting

NLIPW seeks to establish itself as a voice for investigative reporting on incidence of product counterfeiting, anti-counterfeiting activities around the world, cases on food fraud and adulteration, product liability, new legislation, and prosecution for piracy and copyright infringement.

IV. Trademarks and Service Marks Search Database

The NLIPW Trademarks and Service Marks Search Database was created as a  medium to enable users conduct a preliminary search for similar or identical trademarks prior to conducting an official search with the Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry in Nigeria. Thanks to our Board of Directors, this database is now part of our Public Access Initiative. The database now has free access.

V. IP Services – Nigeria, Ghana, U.S., and UK

Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registration, Renewal and Opposition

The NLIPW team works with law firms in a number of countries to file trademark and service mark applications – including in Nigeria, Ghana, U.S., and UK. Through our network of lawyers, we also assist clients with other intellectual property filing services including patents and design registration; trademark protection, renewal and opposition; and  recordal of change of name and address.

NLIPW is a useful tool for brand owners, lawyers, law firms, law students, regulatory institutions, the judiciary and international practitioners.  Information is provided on a weekly basis.

Clearance Search and Legal Opinions

Through the NLIPW Trademarks and Service Marks Search Database, our team conducts preliminary searches for similar or identical trademarks that have been filed in Nigeria. This is followed by comprehensive clearance searches, conducted at the Trademarks Registry to confirm that marks are available for registration. Each search report includes a legal opinion, as well as details of the search and a review of the marks found in the search.

Investigation and Monitoring

Our team offers an IP watch service whereby we constantly review publications made in the Trademarks Journal and send notification of any potential conflicting trademarks to clients.

Copyright Notification

The NLIPW team assist clients with depositing their works including scripts, films, photographs, books, song lyrics and other musical composition with the Nigerian Copyright Commission under the Copyright Notification Scheme.

NAFDAC Product Registration, Renewal and Legal Opinions

Our team of intellectual property professionals assist clients with the registration of medical devices, cosmetics, pesticides and other food and drug products with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).  We also assist with the renewal of previously approved products and provide legal opinions and answers to questions relating to NAFDAC registration.

Domain Name Registration

NLIPW assists with the conduct of domain name availability searches, registration and renewals.  Our team of experts also offer advise to individuals or legal entities on the registration of proposed domain names.

5-Year Strategic Plan (2014-2019)

The NLIPW 5-Year Strategic Plan is used as a roadmap to clearly identify the purpose of NLIPW.  The plan is based on needs assessment developed from the feedback of surveys sent to over 50 lawyers in Nigeria and countless conversations and brainstorming with lawyers in other jurisdictions.  The plan establishes a framework for performance improvement and the goals of the plan are to:

  1. Create easy and ideal conditions for the sharing, preservation and online access to information about intellectual property, laws, papers, books, practices and practitioners in Nigeria.
  2. Maintain a database of prior publications (news articles, research papers, cases and statutory laws) and act as a center for learning about intellectual property in Nigeria.
  3. Explore revenue-generating sources and services that will ensure stable and dependable funding for NLIPW while allowing for easy and open access to information on intellectual property rights in Nigeria.
  4. Increase the visibility of the NLIPW eLibrary and the Directory of Lawyers and Law Firms through the development of a marketing and promotional plan.
  5. Enrich law students, attorneys and international practitioners.
  6. Encourage academic research and scholarly activity in diverse aspects of IP in Nigeria.
  7. Involve friends of NLIPW in the achievement of goals.
  8. Explore more flexible ways to promote clear and concise information on intellectual property rights.
  9. Design and Implement feedback mechanisms.
  10. NLIPW must stay in a continuous learning mode keeping in mind the challenges of maintaining an online database that is strategically focused on intellectual property in Nigeria.

We will know we have succeeded when:

* We are able to provide information on trademarks and service marks filed in Nigeria.

* We have over 5,000 papers, cases, articles and books on Intellectual property in Nigeria listed in our eLibrary.

* We have a more comprehensive list of IP lawyers and practitioners in Nigeria listed in the NLIPW online Lawyer Directory.

* Our readers are encouraged to submit articles and papers for publication on NLIPW.

NLIPW is currently working to develop a comprehensive marketing plan that will ensure awareness of the goals contained in the strategic plan.

Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch Inc.

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