We have a deep appreciation of Patent rights, as valuable business assets for both organizations and individuals who seek to establish effective and lawful barriers to competition. We therefore encourage our clients to seek patent protection for their innovations before same are adopted or exploited by the competition. Obtaining this protection provides them with a legal recourse to recover damages in the event of patent infringement.
Our services include:
- Preliminary advice
- Prosecution and maintenance of Patents
- Patent searches
- Filing of Patents
- Patent Renewal
- Commercial Patent Services
- Contentious Patent Services (Administrative/Litigation/Alternative Dispute Resoultion)
Information on Patent Protection in Nigeria
An invention is deemed patentable if:
– it is new
– results from inventive activity and,
– is capable of industrial application
Documentary Requirements for Registration:
- A simple Power of Attorney/Authorization of agent.
- A “clean and clear” copy of the specification, claims, abstract and drawings. (Including amendments if necessary).
- A copy of the published PCT Pamphlet comprising the complete specification i.e. Copy of International Publication, International Preliminary Report on Patentability and the international Search Report/Written Opinion,
- The text of the PCT specification and claims filed should include any amendments effected by the annexes to the International Preliminary Examination Report.
- Official Acknowledgement of Application:
An application is made in the prescribed form and accompanied by the requisite documents to the Registrar who issues a filing Receipt to the applicant acknowledging that the application has been filed and received at the Registry. The date of receipt of the application at the Registry is the official filing date of the patent.
- Examination of Application (Acceptance Notice):
The Patent application is examined to ensure its conformity with the documentary requirements stipulated by the Patents & Designs Act. Where an Application satisfies the documentary requirements, an Acceptance Notice would issue in favour of the Applicant.Where the application however fails to conform to the prescribed requirements, the Registrar will not issue the Acceptance form until these requirements have been met.
- Issuance of Letters Patent (Certificate):
The Letters Patent is issued following the issuance of the Acceptance Form.
- Duration of Protection
Registration of Patent is valid for a period of 20 years and must be renewed annually within the indicated 20 years after which it reverts to the public domain.
A registered design protects the aesthetic appearance of an article. The Nigerian Patents & Designs Act allows for the registration of 2 different types of designs:
- Combinations of lines or colours or both (e.g. Textile Designs)
- Three-dimensional designs ( e.g. product packaging )
Conditions for Registrability
An industrial design is registrable if-
– it is new; and
– it is not contrary to public order or morality
Documentary Requirements for Registration:
- An application in the requisite form stating the article to which the design is to be applied.
- Statement of Novelty of the Design
- Specimens, photographic or graphical representations of the design.
- A Power of Attorney, if application is being made by an agent.
- An indication of the kind of product or class of product for which the design will be used.
- Foreign priority applications: a written declaration showing the date, number, country and the name of the person who made the earlier application. If unavailable at the time of application, the applicant shall within 3 months of application, furnish the registry with a certified copy of the earlier (foreign) application.
Documentary requirements for filing an amendment
- An application in the requisite form
- 6 specimens, photographic or graphical representations of the amended design.
- The representation of the design shall be made on strong paper and except where otherwise required, on one side only of a size approximately thirty- three (33) centimetres by twenty (20) centimetres and having amargin of approximately five (5) centimetres.
- The figure or figures contained in the representation shall be placed in an upright position on the sheet.
- Where the representations are drawings or tracings, they shall be in ink, and if on tracing cloth or paper, it shall be mounted on paper of the size prescribed above.
- Where words, letters or numerals appear in the design, but are not of essence to the design, they shall be removed from the representations.
- Acknowledgement Notice:
An application is made in the prescribed form and accompanied with the requisite documents to the Registrar, who issues a form to the applicant, acknowledging receipt of the application made.
- Examination (issuance of Acceptance Notice):
The Registrar will examine every application to ensure compliance with the documentary requirements prescribed by the Act as well as to ensure that the design is not contrary to public order or morality. In the event that the application fails to meet these requirements, the Registrar will issue arefusal notice in writing. An Acceptance Notice would be issued where the design application satisfies the prescribed requirements.
Upon the acceptance of the application, the design would be registered and a Registration Certificate would issue.
Upon Registration, a duplicate of the Design Certificate will be included in the Register of Industrial Designs. The Registrar is requested to publish a notification of the registration.
The registration of a design lasts for a period of 15 years after which it reverts to the public domain and is no longer renewable. Within the indicated 15 years, the proprietor is required to renew the Design every 5 years.