Nigeria Trade Marks

Trade Mark Registration & Protection

Nigeria trade marks are valid for 7 years from the filing date and are renewable every 14 years thereafter. Nigeria is a First to File country and whomever files first will be granted rights over a mark. The owner of a registered trademark is granted exclusive rights to use the trademark and protect it from infringement. Nigeria is a member of the Paris Convention and the Nice Classification of Goods and Services is followed.

Types of Trade Marks:

  • Goods and services
  • Certification marks
  • Defensive marks
  • Series marks 

Filing Requirements:

  • Simply signed Power of Attorney
  • Details of the Applicant (full names, physical address, nationality/country of incorporation)
  • Representation of the trade mark(s)
  • List of goods and/or services
  • Certified copy of priority document (if applicable)


The Nice Classification of Goods and Services is followed.


7 years from filing date and renewable for further periods of 14 years.

International and Regional Systems:

  • Paris Convention


Nigeria trade marks may be revoked on the following grounds:

  • Non-use: if it can be established that the mark was registered without any intention to use.
  • Non-use: during a continuous period of at least 5 years during which the trademark was registered.
  • If the entry has been made in the register without sufficient cause.
  • Non compliance to the registrar’s statutory notice to renew by the registered proprietor.

Upon removal from the register, the trade mark user will no longer have any rights in relation to the trade mark.

Nice Classification

Nigeria recognises the goods and services classes from the Nice Classification and allows for multi-class filing. The Nice Classification, established by the Nice Agreement, is an international classification for the registration of marks. A new edition is published every 5 years and a new version of each edition is published annually. Use of the Nice Classification is mandatory for the national registration of marks in countries party to the Nice Agreement:

OAPI (African Intellectual Property Organization);
ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organization);
BOIP (Benelux Office for Intellectual Propert);
EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) and;
the International Bureau of WIPO.

Paris Convention

Nigeria is a member of the Paris Convention where each contracting state must grant the same IP protection to nationals of other contracting states, and provides for the right of priority in the case of patents, trade marks and designs. The Paris Convention is an international agreement which helps creators ensure that their intellectual property is protected in other countries. It applies to IP in the widest sense as it covers patents, trade marks and industrial designs to name a few.

Madrid Trade Marks in Africa

Only 9 of the 38 African members have enforced the Madrid Protocol through appropriate amendments to their national trade mark legislation, together with the implementation of enabling regulations, namely Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Even in these nine countries, practical issues exist such as the recognition of the national laws of each country, the enforceability of the International registration in those countries and the effect of national common law rights.  Procedural issues include adhering to the system’s strict processing timelines, irregular publication of Trade Mark Journals, late examination or non-examination and issues related to record keeping. At this stage, it is recommended that clients pursue national trade mark applications in each African country of interest.  We remain at your disposal to render advice as to which countries may enjoy a successful registration using the Madrid System.

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.