The Nigerian Trademark, Patents and Design Registry is in charge of publishing accepted trademarks for registration in the Trademark Journals. The trademark contains the Name of Company, the marks accepted for registration, the class of goods in which the mark is to be registered.
The trademark registry in Nigeria publishes one to two volumes of the trademark journal annually, to notify the general public of trademark applications that have been lodged.
There are several stages involves in the registration of a trademark in Nigeria, with each having a separate timeline. A publication in a trademark journal is one of the stages to be fulfilled for the complete process of the registration. This stage occurs where an accredited agent for the applicant applies for a trademark.
After the Registry has accepted a trademark, the trademark application will be advertised in the Trademark Journal for a period that is dependent on the backlog faced at the registry. The publication grants the public the opportunity to raise a trademark opposition where necessary. Any individual or organization who considers that a trademark being sought may likely confuse or mislead the public in light of an existing trademark or has a valid ground of opposition to any trademark application advertised in the Journal will file a Notice of Opposition at the Registry within 2 months of the publication. Section 19 of the Trade Mark Act states that “where an application for trademark has been accepted, the register after acceptance will cause notice of the application to be published in the Journal”. Section 20 of the Act further provides that “any person may within 2 months from the date of the publication give to the Registrar a notice of opposition which shall be in writing, including statement of grounds of opposition”.
Where the Registrar receives a notice of opposition and forwarded it to the applicant, the applicant can respond to the opposition within one month by a counter-statement. And where the applicant fails to respond to the notice of opposition, the applicant will be deemed to have abandoned the application.
The grant of a Certificate of Registration of a trademark is dependent on the publication of trademark in the Journal, as for where there is no opposition raised, the Certificate of Registration will be issued for the trademark sought.
The application advertised in the journal contains details of the trademark, date of the application, details of the applicant with address, accredited agents details and class/ specification of the goods or service from class 1 to class 45. In the past, trademarks were published between 12 to 48 months, but in recent times the Registry has improved on the timeline for publications, and the Registry now publishes volumes within a short period of 3 to 6 months.
A trademark Journal is always represented in this manner Online Trademark Journal Vol.1, No.10, April 24 2018. Copies of the Journal can be obtained at the Trademark Registry in Abuja Nigeria. The latest Trademark Journal published was on the 30th of January 2018, each consisting of 4000 trademark applications and 6 volumes.
To procure a copy of the Trademark Journal, the Ministry states that users will pay the sum of N21, 000.00 (Twenty One Thousand Naira) into the Government coffers through the Treasury Single Account. The Journals are not available online but in a manual booklet form.
An application for a trademark registration must undergo the stage of publication in the Trademark Journal. The importance of this application stage is to notify the general public of the applications for registration so that any protest or opposition to that registration will be raised timeously. This is usually done in line with the provision of Section 19 of the Trade Mark Act.
Publication in a trademark journal is a pre-requisite for the application of the Certificate of Registration to be issued in favour of the applicant, which brings to an end the process of registration for any trademark.
By Trademark and Intellectual Property Law Department at the Resolution Law Firm, Nigeria