Should We Trademark Our Business Name and Logo Together?

BRAND

One popular question we are asked at NLIPW is whether or not companies and individuals doing business in Nigeria should trademark their business name and logo together.

It is important when doing business in Nigeria to ensure that you protect your business through intellectual property (IP). One way companies can achieve this is by filing an application to register their business name, associated brands, and logo. As your company gains brand recognition, customers will associate your logo with your company, and as such you should ensure that you have the necessary IP covering your logo registration. For example, many customers in Nigeria associate MTN with its yellow color; Nike has with its swoosh and Pepsi is recognizable with the red, white and blue combination logo.

The business name and logo are good indicators for consumers and clients that are often helpful in distinguishing your business from that of competitors.

So, Should You Trademark Your Business Name and Your Logo Together?

The answer is that it depends. There are reasons to keep it separate as well as reasons for combining the filing.

Reasons to File the Application Together?

The major reason for companies doing business in Nigeria, especially startups, to apply for the registration of their business name together with their logo is the cost associated with filing trademarks in Nigeria i.e financial motivation. Filing trademarks in Nigeria is not cheap — the costs can vary from anywhere between $150 to $1,070 depending on the experience, background and expertise of the filing agent. Each application for the logo and business name if filed separately and in multiple classes, can cost the business a significant amount of money.

In reality, although the company may save money in the short term by registering the business name and logo together, in the long term, they often end up paying more when they re-brand their products or change their business logo.

Reasons to Keep It Separate

If the application for the business name and logo are filed separately, it is often easier for the company in situations where it changes its logo to simply register the new logo. If there is re-branding of the logo associated with a business name or logo, and the original application was filed separately, the company would not have to register the trademark with the new logo, it can simply register the logo as a new application. It may not appear to be an issue but think about it this way if you have already registered ‘my company name and device” and you change your logo and wish to register “my company name and new device”, you may run into problems as the company name is already on the register of trademarks, and may appear to be a duplicate registration.

Ultimately, the client makes the final decision on how they would like to file their trademarks but it is definitely important to remember the benefits of filing separately or keeping the business name and logo together.

This article is intended to provide general information about the subject matter. Professional legal advice should be sought about specific circumstances.

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About Ufuoma Akpotaire 138 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: uakpotaire@nlipw.com

4 Comments

  1. I very much appreciate your articles on trademark registration most especially in Nigeria. may i know how much it will cost a client to obtain certificate of trademark? beside the acknowledgement and acceptance letter and how long it will take (duration)?.
    best regards and accept my warmest regards, please.

  2. I will rather have both registered at the same time particularly when the logo is unique as to distinguish it from others. It is double protection.
    Even if there is a change in the future you can always apply to amend it.
    On the probability of having it queried since there is an earlier registration, all you need to do is to show the Registrar of trademark that there is a nexus between the earlier applicant/Owner and the subsequent one stating that they are one and the same.

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