For the purpose of registration of trademarks, Nigerian law classifies goods and services into 45 Classes in accordance with the Nice international system of classification. Multi-class applications are not allowed and as such a separate application must be made for registration in each Class in which protection is sought.
Why should I file separate applications in Multiple Classes?
When filing a trademark application, you must select the goods or services in the appropriate class you wish to register. If your mark is to be used on different products, the need to file the trademark in multiple classes arises.
The reason for this is that Nigeria is a single class jurisdiction requiring separate applications for each class in which an applicant seeks to register a mark. The best way to think about the process is that each application filed in Nigeria has a separate form and fees for the class of goods or services.
As an example, when FIFA decided in 2012 to register the trademark ‘Fuleco’ in Nigeria, separate applications were lodged in Class 25 for clothing and footwear, and Class 28 for Games. The two applications also had separate fees and application numbers.
While the requirement to register goods and services in separate classes places some financial burden on companies (especially startups) or individuals registering their trademarks, it is an important step in ensuring that competitors do not go ahead and register similar marks in classes where you intend to sell or offer goods or services.