Trademark Search Nigeria
The trademark search is the first step for registering a trademark in Nigeria. Essentially, there are three major steps involved in trademark registration in Nigeria namely; (1) Search, (2) Filing and (3) Publication. Each of these three major steps is followed by a major result.
To start with, the first step, the search will determine whether the proposed trademark does not infringe on any existing trademark and as such, it can be presented for Filing since it is not in conflict with any existing registered trademark. The second step, the filing of a trademark, if successful shall result in the issuance of an Acceptance Letter. However, it worth of note to state that where a trademark search is successful and it is subsequently filed, the Registrar may still decline to register such a trademark in some situations. Such situations may include where the filed trademark has been found to be generally descriptive, immoral or for any other reasons. The third step, the publication determines whether there is any interested party who may wish to challenge the registration of such trademark on the ground that such a mark is likely going to infringe on his own existing trademark or for any other reason, which such a third party shall present by filing an opposition to the published trademark. If no opposition is filed, the successful publication of a trademark will result in the issuance of a trademark Certificate to a successful applicant.
Reasons for Trademark Search
Conducting a trademark search in Nigeria commences the registration process. The essence of the search is to determine whether the proposed trademark will not infringe on an existing mark before it is presented for filing.
One of the criteria for registration of trademark in Nigeria is that such mark must not be identical or similar to an existing trademark. As a result of this criterion, there is a need for a trademark search to ensure the proposed mark for registration is not conflicting with an existing mark.
Process of Trademark Search
One of the major ways to carry out a trademark search is to go through the Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry’s online portal. Before one can carry out searches, he or she must be an accredited user. Although accredited users pay for these searches to be carried out online, conventionally, the actual search is done manually and physically at the Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry in Abuja.
Requirements For Trademark Search in Nigeria
- Name or/and Logo (Device) of the trademark to be searched
- Class of the Trademark: The trademarks are registered in classes, and therefore, the trademark search must be conducted in specific class the owner or applicant is seeking protection. And where the applicant does not know the specific class, the type of business activities or services the trademark is required for must be provided for the trademark Agent, who will use the same information to determine the appropriate class.
In conclusion, trademark search is important before registration because it ensures that the proposed trademark does not conflict with an existing trademark.
By Intellectual Property Law Team at Resolution Law Firm