TRADEMARK WATCH IN NIGERIA
The importance of trademark watch service in Nigeria is to monitor new applications that have been filed at the trademark registry for any potential infringement on someone’s existing trademark. The essence is also to identify if any similar or identical mark has been registered and notify mark owners timeously to ensure that there is adequate time to prepare an opposition and challenge such registrations.
In our previous article, we discussed extensively the procedure and cost of registering a trademark in Nigeria.
Trademarks are registered for the benefits of corporate brands in a country or geographical region where the company brands are used and recognized. It is trite to mention that it is not enough to register a mark or corporate brand with the trademark registry for protection, but a further step must be taken that the valuable marks are protected and enforced to ensure that third-party trademark applications are monitored to prevent the registration of any infringing marks.
One of the steps of registering a trademark is a Publication of Registered Trademarks in the Trademark Journal. This journal is published by the Ministry quarterly. When the Journal is published, the proprietor of marks or its agents is required to obtain copies of the journals published to watch out for marks registered. The purpose is to look out for what competitors are registering whether it is identical or similar to an existing mark and to raise an opposition where a similar or identical mark is being registered.
Oppositions in some cases are raised 30 days from publication of a conflicting mark in the journal. Trademark watching services by any trademark agent will include watching out for any potential infringement based on published trademarks by the government. A trademark watching service can be done without a legal opinion or with a legal opinion, where a reason or feedback is given to determine whether the trademark does not infringe on existing watching mark or the next step to take where there is a possible infringement on the existing mark.
In conclusion, there are a lot of marks registered at the Trademark Registry daily; leaving a trademark for an examiner to search during the registration process can be strenuous and sometimes judgment can be off. They have a job of protecting existing trademarks, but to ensure due diligence the new trademark applications must also be monitored by individual owners.
Finally, trademark watch is essential for the timely detection of any infringements that may be detrimental for a business.
Written by Intellectual Property Law Team at Resolution Law Firm