Timelines for Trademark Applications in Nigeria

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One of the most frequent questions we are asked at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch is how long does it take to register a trademark.

Generally, applying to register a trademark application with the Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry in Nigeria requires a minimum of 12 to 50 months from the date of filing to the issuance of the registration certificate.

Which timeline applies to your situation?

1:  Filing the Trademark Application – If the application is filed by an online accredited agent, filing the trademark application could take a matter of minutes. Typically, the trademark agent will need the name of the mark, applicant’s name and address, logo (if any), and a completed Form 1 (Power of Attorney) authorizing the agent to file the application on behalf of the trademark owner.

2:  The Examination Process – Between 2 to 6 months from the date of the application, the status of the trademark application should read “…the application is at the Verification Office”. What this means is that the Trademark Registry in Abuja will review the application and issue either an Acceptance Form or a Refusal Slip. The accredited agent will have the option of downloading and printing the forms issued by the Registry in response to the application.

If an Acceptance Form is issued, the trademark application status will be updated to read “…currently at the Opposition Office”. If the trademark application is not successful, the registry will issue a refusal slip and the online status will read “…currently at the Acceptance Office”.

3:  Publication for Opposition  – Depending on the Registry’s backlog, it could take anywhere between 12-48 months for a trademark that has been accepted to be advertised in the Trademarks Journal or Gazette. The idea behind the advertisement is to alert the public that the mark is in process of registration. The effect is that interested persons may submit oppositions to the registration.

4:  Opposition – Within 2 months of a mark being advertised, any concerned party may oppose registration of the mark. If no one opposes the mark, it moves to Step 5 below.

5:  Registration – If there is no opposition or objection to the registration of the trademark, the applicant will be required to pay a separate fee in order to apply for the registration certificate.

6:  Issuance of Certificate of Registration:  Depending on each case, it may take another 6 months for the certificate to be issued and for the trademark registration process to be completed.

For more information on how to file trademarks in Nigeria, please email trademarks@nlipw.com. 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 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: uakpotaire@nlipw.com