Jun 6, 2017

How to register a patent in Nigeria | Adedunmade Onibokun

A Patent is an official right to be the only person to make, use or sell a product or an invention. The essence of a patent is to protect inventors by ensuring they get due recognition and compensation for their efforts in inventing. A patent usually covers new and ground breaking inventions which could be in any industry and not necessarily in the sciences alone.

A patent confers upon the patentee the right to preclude any other person from doing any of the following acts-

 a)     where the patent has been granted in respect of a product, the act of making, importing, selling or using the product, or stocking it for the purpose of sale or use; and
b)      where the patent has been granted in respect of a process, the act of applying the process or doing, in respect of a product obtained directly by means of the process, any other acts mentioned above.

That’s why various governments have made it a point of duty to support and protect the rights of inventors through patents. In Nigeria, a patent is registerable at the Ministry of Trade and Investment located in Abuja.

The application for patent registration begins with a search to ascertain whether such innovation or invention had been created by another person in the past. This is then followed by an application for registration. The Applicant must include other vital information such as; the applicant’s full name and address; a specification, including a claim or claims in duplicate; plans and drawings, if any, in duplicate; where appropriate, a declaration signed by the true inventor requesting that he be mentioned as such in the patent and giving his name and address; a signed power of attorney or authorization of agent if the application is made by an agent; an address for service in Nigeria if the applicant’s address is outside Nigeria; and The prescribed fee.

It is important to note that a patent shall stay valid for 20 years, after which other manufacturers may have access to the creation or be legally able to create another version in itself.  An inventor who has registered a patent in another country can also re-register the patent in Nigeria. Such inventor will be requested to append to his application a written declaration showing the date and number of the earlier application, the country in which the earlier application was made, and the name of the applicant who made the earlier application. The applicant will be expected to furnish the Registrar, not more than three months after the making of the application in the initial country with a copy of the earlier application certified correct by the Industrial Property Office (or its equivalent) in the country where the earlier application was made.

A patent shall also lapse if the prescribed annual fees are not duly paid in respect of it, provided that a grace period of six (6) months shall be allowed for the payment of the fees; and if the fees and the prescribed surcharge are paid within that period, the patent shall continue as if the fees had been duly paid.

Many inventors have not had the benefit of registering their inventions. This may result in a loss of ownership by these inventors or a situation where the invention is registered by someone else who is not the rightful creator of that invention.

If you have any enquires about registering a patent or trademark in Nigeria. You may contact the undersigned via info@adedunmadeonibokun.com or via www.adedunmadeonibokun.com

Adedunmade Onibokun & Co.
Solicitors & Advocates


Photo Credit - www.insidecounsel.com