Why you should register your Trademark in Nigeria
Trademarks represents the brand identity of your company/business
You need to protect your brand and identity and the way to do it is to register your trademark in order to stake your ownership. When choosing your brand you need to make sure it is actually available and does not infringe on anyone’s existing trademark. This process is different from when registering a company and conducting a name search. It is always advisable to get a lawyer to conduct a name search at the CAC and a trademark search. Failing to research a brand before adopting can lead to denial of registration by the Trademark registry or, worse, a cease and desist letter from another brand owner. Spending the time, money, and effort up front to determine whether a brand is available will help avoid the very high costs of a dispute or litigation. In deciding what your brand should be, always remember, the more you differentiate your brand, the easier and better it will be to protect it. You should choose a name and logo that is distinct and unique.
Trademarks are an asset
A potentially valuable asset. They can appreciate in value over time (or depreciate in value). A few examples of worldwide trademarks that have appreciated in value over time include – ‘Apple’, ‘Facebook’, ‘Coca-Cola’…a few that have depreciated in value include – ‘Enron’, ‘MMM’ etc. The more your business reputation and customer base grows, the more valuable your brand will be and can lead the way for expansion from one industry to another. So even if you decide not to register your trademark when you originally set out in business, you should definitely make it a priority as your business grows. Not only is the value of a brand in the brand name, it can also relate to actual monetary value. Companies sometimes license out their brands to 3rd parties, in fact that is how franchising works. Company A builds a brand and a business, then decides to licence the brand to a 3rd party who sets up their own business using Company A brand name. Examples of worldwide brands built on this franchise model are Starbucks, McDonalds, Subway, KFC, and yes…Mr. Biggs. So you should definitely consider registering your trademark if you want to make it an asset you can sell or licence!
Trademarks last forever
Although when you register your trademark in Nigeria it is valid for an initial period of 7 years, and then for further renewable 14-year periods. There is no limit on how many times you can renew it. You can technically own your trademark forever. Some of the most recognized brands in the world today have been around for over a hundred years. Mercedes was first registered in 1900. Pepsi-Cola was registered in 1896. So if you want to build a business dynasty that could potentially be in existence in the next century….register your trademark today!
To protect your brand identity online against cyber squatters
If a cyber squatter is infringing on your trademark by registering it as a domain name, evidence of registration of your trademark can swiftly assist you in claiming the domain. The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) is the administrator of, and the non-governmental self regulatory body for the .ng ccTLD and its associated sub level domain names. They deal with domain names that end in .ng or .com.ng or gov.ng etc. A certificate of trademark registration (or evidence of registration) is sufficient grounds to show evidence of abusive registration or use in bad faith, as laid out in the Dispute resolution policy of the NIRA. What this means is if you have a business – Jagbajantis Music (not a real company…at least as far as we are aware), and you register the trademark. Then someone comes along and registers the domain- jagbajantismusic.ng (not a real website), you can make a complaint at the NIRA for the registration of the domain to be transferred to you, and you can use your trademark registration certificate to make this complaint.
This protection also extends beyond domain name, you can also use it to secure your brand on social media. The social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites have policies in place to protect you against abuse – someone grabbing your company name and misrepresenting your brand can result in suspending the account.
It is a relative inexpensive investment
When you consider the immense benefits (as discussed above).
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We hope you have found this information helpful. Please note that this information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. It is not intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified lawyer. If you require legal advice, please consult with a qualified lawyer.