Friday, 7 January 2011


The registration of a trademark in Nigeria, as anyone who has ever attempted can attest to, is a time-consuming, expensive and often frustrating process. The registry in Abuja is dark, lacking in a lot of the resources necessary to ensure a smooth working environment and most importantly, the files located at the registry are NOT COMPUTERIZED. One cannot be 100% positive about the system in place for the registration of marks but one thing can be sure, it is by no means a perfectly effective system.

In order to try to rectify the situation, two features have been implemented. The first is the increase in the fees charged for filing. The fees for filing a registration have effectively doubled and the fees for renewals, searches and pretty much everything else you can think of have increased significantly as well. This change was implemented by Senator Jubril Martins Kuye, the present Minister for Commerce and Industry in line with Section 45(1)(e) of the Trademarks Act which allows for the Minister to prescribe “the fees to be paid in respect of applications, registrations and other matters”. All in all the increases have been significant and taking into account the number of registrations that are filed and the consequent renewals necessary, it would be of great assistance in making the registry more efficient.

The second feature that has been implemented is even more dramatic. The entire trade marks registry has relocated. It has moved to what we can only assume (and hope) is a more spacious building with full time electricity and a more effective system for organizing the files. This writer has not actually had the pleasure of visiting the new registry in our Nation’s Capital personally but remains quietly confident that the move will indeed result in the increase of productivity. When making enquiries as to when I would receive certain documentation from the trademarks registry just before Christmas, I was told to be patient and assured that the move will indeed result in a more efficient system.

So there we have it, the days of disorder and chaos at the trademarks registry will soon come to an end… and there is still no need for the use of a computer (does anyone else sense my sarcasm?)!!!!!!!!!!

Please leave any and all comments after the jump and share any personal experiences you’ve had with the registry, old or new.

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