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Nigeria Patents

Patent & Design Protection

Nigeria patents havea duration of 20 years from date of filing. Nigeria is a member of PCT and the Paris Convention (International treaty for the protection of Industrial Property). PCT National Phase entries provide a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect intellectual property in each of its contracting states. A patent application filed under the PCT is called an international application, or PCT application. A single filing of an international application is made with a Receiving Office (RO) in one language. It then results in a search performed by an International Searching Authority (ISA), accompanied by a written opinion regarding the patentability of the invention, which is the subject of the application. The PCT National Phase entry essentially leads to a standard national or regional patent application, which may be granted or rejected according to applicable law, in each jurisdiction in which a patent is desired. 

The Patent Cooperation Treaty – PCT is an international patent law treaty that provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions in all of its contracting states. A single filing of an international application is made with a Receiving Office (RO) in one language. It then results in a search performed by an International Searching Authority (ISA), accompanied by a written opinion regarding the patentability of the invention, which is the subject of the application. The PCT National Phase entry essentially leads to a standard national or regional patent application, which may be granted or rejected according to applicable law, in each jurisdiction in which a patent is desired. 

Types of Patents:

  • Patents of Invention
  • National Phase PCT Application

Filing Requirements:

Non-PCT applications:

  • Simply signed Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
  • Specification, claims, drawings and abstract with English translation (required upon filing)
  • Deed of assignment (can be late filed)
  • Certified copy of the priority document (if applicable) with verified English translation (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)

PCT applications:

  • Simply signed Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
  • Specification, claims, drawings and abstract with English translation (required upon filing)
  • Published International application (required upon filing)
  • International Search Report and International Preliminary Report on Patentability (can be late filed)

Novelty:

Absolute novelty required.

Examination: 

Formal examination.

Duration/Renewals: 

The patent has a duration of 20 years from date of filing. Annual renewal fees are payable in advance from the first anniversary of the filing date.

International and Regional Systems:

  • Paris Convention
  • PCT

Designs in Nigeria

Types of Designs:

  • Industrial Designs

Filing Requirements:

  • Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
  • Drawings or photographs of the design (required upon filing)
  • A statement indicating the kind of products for which the design is to be used
  • Certified copy of priority document (if applicable) (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Sworn English translation of the Priority Document if not in English (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Deed of assignment (can be late filed)

Duration/Renewals:

The design has an initial term of 5 years from date of filing, with possible extensions of 2 further terms of 5 years each.

International and Regional Systems:

  • Paris Convention
Africa | Intellectual Property

African Territories

Smit & Van Wyk provides a full range of IP legal services in all African countries where Intellectual Property protection is available. We can provide information on the filing requirements in each of the African countries and can also offer information on the various regional IP organisations such as ARIPO, OAPI and the Madrid protocol. We work with a network of trusted and knowledgeable agents to develop the best possible solution to each of our clients’ IP needs in Africa.