Understanding the Five Trademark Status Descriptors in Nigeria

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After filing a trademark application, it takes on average somewhere between 12 to 72 months to get a trademark registered at the Trademarks Registry in Nigeria. In the meantime, trademark applications undergo several stages and trademark agents can check the status of their applications online.

When checking the status of a trademark application or registration in Nigeria, using the Trademarks Registry’s online portal, you may have noticed the section called “status information”. This section identifies the status of the trademark applications and registrations using terminology specific to the office reviewing an application.

At the moment, it appears there are five trademark descriptors being used by the Trademark Registry in Nigeria to indicate the status of applications or registrations filed online. This article takes a look at these common status descriptors and their implications.

1. Currently at the Search Office

Immediately after filing a new trademark application, the status changes to “currently at the search office”. This status indicates the application has been received by the Trademarks Registry and an Acknowledgement Form is usually available to be printed at this stage.

2. Currently at the Acceptance Office

For many applications, the status “currently at the Acceptance Office” could simply mean that the Registry is yet to decide on whether or not the mark conflicts with existing applications. For other applications, this is usually the end of the line and a proposed mark that is issued a refusal will also have this status but will not proceed through the other stages below.

3. Currently at the Acceptance (KIV) Office

Not every trademark application goes through this stage. In some cases, the registry does not immediately refuse a trademark application but the mark is halted for additional information. In those cases, the status states “currently at the Acceptance (KIV) Office”. The Keep in View means that if the registry is satisfied with the additional information provided, the mark may proceed to the next status.

4. Currently at the Opposition Office

Unlike the other status descriptors, the status “currently at the Opposition Office” could mean one of two things. It could mean –

(a) That the trademark has been accepted by the trademark registry and is simply awaiting publication in a trademarks journal.

(b) That a trademark has been published in one of the trademark journals issued by the trademarks registry and a certificate of registration is yet to be issued. A certificate of registration could have been applied for but pending issuance to the trademark owner.

5. Currently at the Registrars Office

A trademark application or registered trademark’s status usually reads “currently at the Registrars Office” when the certificate of registration has been issued.

If you are interested in filing a trademark, patent or design application in Nigeria, please email trademarks@nlipw.com to obtain a quote. 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 290 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

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