Describing Your Invention in Patent Applications in Nigeria


December 4, 2015 — As part of the patent application process, the invention must be described with specificity. This is because vague or general descriptions do not necessarily offer additional protection.

Begin by choosing a title that clearly describes the subject of the invention. For example “Devices and Methods for Transferring Data Through the Human Body” or “Dispenser for Beverages Including Juices”. Next, spend considerable time not only describing the structural components that make up the invention but also the technical connections that are necessary for the invention to perform specified functions.

One major problem with giving a vague description is that due to the lack of specific information, a search will more than certainly reveal an existing patent — one already filed with the Patents and Designs Registry in Abuja. The application should be detailed (almost like an instruction manual) showing the structural components, how things are connected, modifications, materials used, alternatives and optional features, uniqueness of the invention, and the patentable features that set the invention apart from previously granted patents.

While the Patent & Designs Registry in Nigeria does not currently scrutinize patent applications as to the level of specificity provided in patent applications (what we currently have is more of a deposit system), it is important to ensure that, irrespective of any scrutiny, what you seek to protect is properly described and filed.


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About Ufuoma Akpotaire 319 Articles
Ufuoma is a Senior Editor and Director of Regulatory Policy at NLIPW. She assists clients in the protection of copyrights, trademarks and patents. She counsels clients regarding validity and infringement matters and has experience acting against the infringement of IP and addressing counterfeit issues. She holds a Masters degree (LL.M.) from Columbia Law School, New York and a law degree from the University of Nigeria (LL.B. Honors). She is admitted to practice law in Nigeria and in the State of New York. Ufuoma cut her teeth in the intellectual property practice groups of some of the largest law firms in Nigeria and has years of experience working with major non-profit organizations in New York. Email: