A name trade mark is the first thing people take note of in your company or business. It is a name or logo used to identify a company or business. It is very important. Just like every human being has a name and until you know that name you don’t fully know the person, so also does a business or company have its unique name and/or identity. But unlike in humans where several people can have same names and still operate normal, a company cannot have the same name with another. This will conflict their existence even if they are in different lines of business or location. This article discusses how to trademark a name in Nigeria.
Why Should You Trademark A Name In Nigeria?
There are many reasons why one should register a name trademark in Nigeria. First, registering a trademark gives the owner the legal right to confront anybody trying to use the trademark without the consent of its original owner. Second, the right trademark could also become a very important asset to the company.
For instance in the case of the company with the largest and most popular search engine in the world, it is not complete without its unique name “Google”. Any other company that uses the name without permission of the original owner can face legal actions from Google. This is how serious it can get.
A major characteristic of a name trademark is that it must be unique. Also, a trademark may consist of various words combined together to form a unique word. Furthermore, it should not be a name directly linked to the goods or the quality of goods and services offered by the company or business.
To Trademark a name in Nigeria one needs to follow some rules and procedures which are as follows:
Requirements to Trademark A Name In Nigeria
To register a name trademark in Nigeria, you need the following:
- The name of the company that owns the name trademark.
- Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) documents containing the company’s address and contact details including the certificates of the company
- The Power of an Attorney assigning the Trademark official to act as its legal representative for the purpose of the registration and finally,
- A copy of the material to be registered in Nigeria.
Now that you have the requirements, below are what you should check for in the process.
#1: Uniqueness of the name
Knowing fully well that a name trademark is the name your product will carry, you have to make the name unique. Why this is very important is that some of the random names you may pick might have already been taken by other business and cannot be registered again.
So, uniqueness of the name should come first. Make sure it is in one way or the other related to your business and also not so common. For instance, it should be something people cannot easily think about or which is not commonly/frequently used. This will further be a proof of originality.
#2: Search for the Trademark Availability and Check if it’s taken.
The name trademark has to be available for you to be able to pick it because there are thousands of registered businesses online and you might have chosen someone else’s trademark unknowingly. This is to make sure you are the only one with that particular trademark.
#3: Application and Approval
Once you confirm the availability of the name, make sure to apply immediately. A name trademark is not something to take lightly or slowly. The idea can also go to another person and that person may register it before you do. Why this can happen is because you’re not the only one doing that business or thinking of doing that business. So apply for the trademark and wait for the approval. This approval is what will make you the one and only upcoming owner of that trademark as you have already pinned it down.
Some companies, despite not having the same trademark with you might kick against the registration of your trademark because they feel it could mislead the public thereby putting their business in unnecessary competition with yours. To settle this problem, the registrar of your name trademark having approved the application will post your application to the relevant spaces where other business owners and companies can see and either oppose the registration or support it. Opposing it does not mean the application will be discarded immediately but the applicant simply needs to answer to a couple of questions which will be used to decide whether or not the application can go on and pull through.
#4: Hire a Legal Practitioner
There are trademark laws in Nigeria. This is because it Is a sensitive issue regarding business and that is why you need to consult a lawyer to guide you through all the legal procedures during the registration in case of any issues that might come up along the way.
Once successful, a trademark is a big asset for any company. It can be easily marketed and advertised and sheds more light on your business since it is unique to you and your company alone.
Name trademark registration in Nigeria is not a thing to take lightly as it is one of the important factors that can lead to a successful business. As you might have noticed from this write-up, the process involved in registration of name trademark in Nigeria is not a very lengthy one. However, to avoid unnecessary delays, is good that you work with experts who know the ins-and-outs of how to trademark a name in Nigeria. But if you feel that you can do it alone, then, no problem, go ahead. In all, I wish you the very best. Stay blessed.