What a lot more brands springing up in recent times, the importance of registering a trademark has become increasingly common. While the importance of registering your company’s trademark is widely understood, there are still questions as regards how much the process goes for in Nigeria.
In this post, we will take a look at how much you can estimate to spend for the whole process. We will also consider some core factors that significantly affect how much you will likely spend during the period.
How Much Is Trademark Registration in Nigeria?
Like most other similar processes in Nigeria, it is difficult to estimate how much trademark registration process costs in Nigeria. The core charges to be paid during the process include the amount to be paid to the lawyer or agent handling the registration process. The applicant will also be expected to pay filing fees during the application process.
On average, you should expect to spend between N100,000 and N180,000 depending on the agency or lawyer you involve. Another core factor that could determine the overall cost of registering your trademark is the ownership of the trademark – is it owned by a local or an international body or individual. If the trademark is owned by an international company or individual, you might be required to pay more than if it is owned by a local body. To get an estimated amount you might spend for your trademark registration, you might be required to contact a trademark accreditation agent or lawyer to negotiate how much the process will cost.
Process of Registering a Trademark in Nigeria
Trademark registration is one of the most important steps to take if you are looking to own a logo or an identity. It is used by companies, organizations or individuals to protect and differentiate their trade symbols in Nigeria.
Trademarks that can and should be registered include slogan, domain name, logo, name, and in some cases, colour. Trademarks are usually registered through the Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry, Commercial Law Department of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in Nigeria.
There are three main processes involved in the registration of a trademark. Here are these core processes:
The Search Process
This is usually the first process involved in trademark registration in Nigeria. The applicant – whether an individual, company or an organization – reaches out to an agent, usually a lawyer to discuss the process. The applicant is then briefed by the agent the processes involved and the cost implementation. After this, the applicant submits the trademark to be registered.
A search is then conducted on the trademark to check for possible conflict or similarity with existing trademark. In cases where similar registered trademark exists, the agent advises to get another trademark before proceeding. In cases there are no similarities with existing trademarks, the Registrar will issue an acknowledgement upon the application.
At this stage, the applicant will have confidence the process will go through, although there is still no assurance. It should be noted that applicants might be required to make different payments at this stage. The overall estimation has been included in the total estimate as stated in the previous section.
The Acceptance Stage
This is the process that comes after the application has been submitted. Here, the application is reviewed and upon approval after due research, examination and review, the Registry will register the trademark and issue an Acceptance Letter to the applicant. The Acceptance letter is the first-level evidence to show that the trademark has been successfully registered without any issue or conflict problem.
The Publications and Certification Stage
This is the final stage in the registration process. This process involves the publication of the trademark in the trademark journal and issuing a certificate. Upon the acceptance of the registration of a trademark in the preceding stage, the Registrar will confirm the announcement of the application is published in the central Trademark Journal.
The information will contain the full details of the application and the body, company or individual applying. This is usually done so that any individual or organization opposing the trademark can come out and explain why. Individuals or organizations that consider that a trademark as likely confusing or misleading the public when compared with existing trademarks have the room to protest to the Registrar to halt such registration. This is usually done by filing a notice of opposition in a set form.
The protests form usually contains the grounds upon which the protest is made and pieces of evidence to back this up. This is then sent to the Registrar of Trademarks and must be sent within one day to two months after publication of notice in a journal. In case of any protest, the Registrar duly notifies the applicant.
The applicant may reply to such conflict within one month from the date of acknowledgement of such notification from the Registrar. In cases where applicant refuses to respond to the opposition received with their own counter-statement, applicant may be considered to have abandoned the application.
In cases where the Registrar received the response of the applicant explaining why they are entitled to such trademark, the Registrar then initiates a Tribunal to decide the case. In cases where there is no opposition to the publication in the journal, or opposition has been made and has been effectively resolved to favour the applying individual, organization or company, the Certificate of Registration is then issued for the trademark sought.