What is the procedure for opposing trademark applications in Nigeria? | Two-Minutes Lesson

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Under the Nigerian Trademarks Act, a party who seeks to oppose a trademark application must do so in writing by filing a Notice of Opposition. The Notice of Opposition must be filed within two months of the proposed mark’s publication and must state the ground(s) for opposition — Section 20 (1) & (2).

Once the Notice of Opposition is filed, the registrar of trademarks must send a copy of the notice to the applicant within one month of receipt of the Notice of Opposition and the applicant can then respond with a counter statement showing the grounds for the application to register the trademark in Nigeria. If the applicant fails to file the counter statement, the application will be deemed to be abandoned — Section 20 (3).

In cases where the counter statement is filed, the registrar must send a copy of the counter statement to the person who is opposing the trademark application in Nigeria, who will be required to file a statutory declaration citing evidence in support of the opposition — Section 34(1).

As soon as the statutory declaration is received, the applicant may proceed to file his own statutory declaration while providing evidence in support of the application to register the trademark. At this point, the party who is challenging the registration may file a reply to the statutory declaration within one month of receiving the document. The registrar will then give notice of hearing and shall decide the case based on evidence presented by both parties.

If you are interested in filing trademark applications in Nigeria, please email trademarks@nlipw.com and someone from our team would assist you.

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About Ufuoma Akpotaire 255 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