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2. Interpretation


(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“False Trade Description” means a trade description which is false or misleading in a material respect as regards the goods to which it is applied, and includes every alteration of a trade description, whether by way of addition, effacement, or otherwise, where that alteration makes the description false or misleading in a material respect; and the fact that a trade description is a trademark, or part of a trademark, shall not prevent such trade description being a false trade description within the meaning of this Act;

“Goods” means anything which is the subject of trade, manufacture or merchandise;

”name” includes any abbreviation of a name;

“Person”, ”Manufacturer”, ”Dealer” or ”Trader” and ”Proprietor” include any body of persons corporate or unincorporate;

“Trade Description” means any description, statement, or other indication, direct or indirect—
(a) As to the number, quantity, measure, gauge, or weight of any goods; or

(b) As to the standard of quality of any goods, according to a classification commonly used or recognised in the trade; or

(c) As to the fitness for purpose, strength, performance or behaviour of any goods; or

(d) As to the place or country in which any goods were made or produced; or

(e) As to the mode of manufacturing or producing any goods; or

(f) As to the material of which any goods are composed; or

(g) As to any goods being the subject to an existing patent, privilege or copyright, and the use of any figure, word, or mark which, according to the custom of the trade, is commonly taken to be an indication of any of the above matters shall be deemed to be a trade description within the meaning of this Act;

“Trademark” means a trademark registered in the register of trademarks kept under or preserved by any Act and includes any trademark which, either with or without registration, is protected by law.

(2) The provisions of this Act respecting the application of a false trade description to goods shall extend to the application to goods of any such figures, words or marks, or arrangement or combination thereof, whether including a trademark or not, as are reasonably calculated to lead persons to believe that the goods are the manufacture or merchandise of some person other than the person whose manufacture or merchandise they really are.

(3) The provisions of this Act respecting the application of a false trade description to goods, or respecting goods to which a false trade description is applied, shall extend to the application to goods of any false name or initials of a person, and to goods with the false name or initials of a person applied, in like manner as if such name or initials were a trade description, and for the purposes of this enactment, the expression ”false name” or ”initials” means, as applied to any goods, any name or initials of a person which—

(a) Are not a trademark or part of a trademark; and

(b) Are identical with or a colourable imitation of the name or initials of a person carrying on business in connection with goods of the same description, and not having authorised the use of such name or initials; and

(c) Are either of a fictitious person or of some person not bona fide carrying on business in connection with such goods.

(4) Without prejudice to the generality of the definitions of ”false trade description” and ”trade description” as defined in this section, a trade description (to whichever of the matters mentioned in the definition of ”trade description” it relates) shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act, to be a false trade description if it is calculated to be misunderstood as, or mistaken for, an indication as to the same or some other such matter which would be false or misleading in a material respect as regards the goods to which the description is applied and anything calculated to be misunderstood as, or mistaken for, an indication of any of those matters shall be mistaken for, an indication of any of those matters shall be deemed for those purposes to be a trade description. [15 of 1956]

(5) Notwithstanding anything in the definition of”false trade description”, no trademark within the meaning of the Trademarks Act, or part of such trademark, shall by virtue of subsection (4) of this section, or paragraph (b) or paragraph (c) of this subsection in the definition of”trade description”, be treated as a false trade description in relation to any goods to which the trademark is applied, if the following conditions are satisfied, that is to say—[15 of 1956. Cap. T13.]

(a) on the 1st day of October, 1956, the trademark either is registered under the Trademarks Act, or is in use to indicate a connection in the course of trade between those goods and the proprietor of the trademark; and

(b) the trademark as applied is used to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods and the person who is the proprietor of the trademark; and

(c) The person who is the proprietor of the trademark is the same person as, or a successor in title of, the proprietor on the 1st day of October, 1956.

(6) Nothing contained in subsection (4) of this section, or in paragraph (b) or paragraph (c) of subsection (5) of this section in the definition of ”trade description”, nor the use of the word ”misleading” in the definition of ”false trade description” shall extend the classes of goods which under section 14 of this Act are prohibited to be imported into Nigeria as having a false trade description applied to them.

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