Proposed Industrial Property Commission Bill Reduces Duration of Trademarks from 14 Years to 7 Years – Nigeria

By section 23 of the Trademarks Act, CAP T13 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, the registration of a trademark shall be for a period of seven years in the first instance. However the registration may be renewed from time to time. Upon application by a proprietor, the registrar may renew the registration of the trademark for a further period of fourteen (14) years from the date of the expiration of the original registration or of the last renewal of registration.

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However, the Industrial Property bill in section 51 provides that the registrar shall on application made by the proprietor of a trademark in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed period, renew the registration of the trademark for a period of seven (7) years from the date of expiration of the original registration or of the last renewal of registration.

The procedure under the bill is for the Registrar to send notice to the proprietor at a prescribed time before the expiration of the last registration of a trademark, the notice shall also state the conditions as to payment of fees and otherwise upon which a renewal of registration may be obtained.

Where the conditions are not complied with before the expiration of the prescribed time, the registrar may remove the trademark from the register and also state the conditions for its restoration.

A trademark removed from the register for nonpayment of the renewal fee shall for the purposes of any application for the registration of a trademark, be deemed to be a trademark that is already on the register.

In practice, trademarks due for renewal but which are not renewed are hardly removed from the trademark register. Apparently, this is a result of the registrar’s failure to send the notice require under the trademarks Act. The practice is that the registrar would renew the trademark once the payment for late renewal as well as payment for the present renewal is made.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ms. Chinwe Uwakwe Blackfriars LLP is a first class Nigerian law firm with special expertise in trademarks registration and and patents prosecution, commercial Litigation, energy law, and capital markets transactions, respectively. A fundamental principle underpinning our success is our unshakeable conviction that the practice of law is a privilege that carries with it the solemn responsibility to apply our talents for the benefit  of  our clients.
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