Intellectual Property Protection in Nigeria

According to the black’s law dictionary, Intellectual property is a commercially valuable product of the human intellect, in a concrete or abstract form such as a copyrightable work, a protectable trademark, a patentable invention, or a trade secret. Intellectual property law in Nigeria is a body of laws and regulations that governs the ownership, protection, lifespan, registration, and rights of intellectual property rights.adidas store atlanta custom uniforms cowboys jerseys cheap jerseys for sale best wig outlet best male sex toys adidas sale nfl shop coupon code adidas yeezy foam runner custom basketball jerseys jordan nike air custom hockey jersey washington nfl team custom nfl jersey custom nba jerseys

There are three main laws that are for the protection and administration of Intellectual property rights in Nigeria which are the copyright Act, the Trademarks Act, and the Patents and Designs Act.


If you have an original work, you are entitled to an exclusive right over the work to approve or disapprove certain use of your work by others. Your exclusive rights over your work are divided into two which are;

Moral Rights: this protects your integrity and reputation as an author

Economic Rights: this right gives you the mandate as an author to earn profit through the direct or indirect use of a work.

Protected Works

The law has provided works that the Act protects and this is found in section1(1) of the Copyright Act which are;

  1. Literary works
  2. Artistic works
  3. Literary works
  4. Sound recordings
  5. Musical works
  6. Cinematograph films
  7. Broadcasts

It is imperative to note that for your work to be protected, it must be original and fixed work. The implication of any work that is original and fixed is that such works enjoy automatic copyright protection and do not require registration or compliance with any formal procedures as it receives automatic copyright protection.

Nonetheless, you are expected to submit a copy of your works(s) to the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) which shall then offer you a certificate that will show as a notification of the legal existence of your work to the general public.

Copyright Duration

  • Musical works, Literary works, and artistic works other than photographs continue until seventy (70) years following the death of the author
  • Performance rights and sound recordings exist until the end of the period of fifty (50) years from the end of the year in which the performance took place and was first published respectively.
  • Where the work is owned by a corporate body or government, the copyright in musical, literary, or artistic work expires seventy (70) years after the work was first published.


Any mark which is used in the course of trade or business to identify goods or services emerging from a particular provider used to distinguish them from other providers is known as a Trademark. The help of having a registered trademark for your business is that it serves as a symbol that customers can use to identify your product. It also helps your product to have a form of distinctiveness from other products.

Registrable Trademarks

In order for your trademark to be registrable under Part A of the Trademarks, Patents, and Designs Registry, it must contain one of the following;

  • Individuals or firms represented in a unique manner
  • The company’s name
  • Signature of the applicant registering the trademark
  • Words or a word that has no direct reference to the quality of your goods or services

Non-Registrable Trademarks

  • Deceptive or scandalous marks
  • Marks that are contrary to law or morality
  • Names of chemical substances
  • A mark that carries an emblem of authority e.g. The Nigerian coat of Arms, similar and identical trademarks.

Registration of Trademarks

The procedures for the registration of trademarks are;

  • Trademark search
  • Acknowledgement and approval by the registrar if such mark follows the requirement of being registrable
  • Acceptance
  • Publication in the Trademark journal
  • A trademark certificate will be issued if no opposition


Any new process or product which provides a novel or inventive way of doing something or a technical solution to a problem will be regarded as a patent with an undivided right granted in that regard. In Nigeria, computer programs, codes, and software are not considered to be patents but rather are protected as a copyright.

Patent Requirements

There are basic requirements your invention must meet before it can be granted a patent right as provided by the patent and designs Act right which are;

  1. It is novel and emanated from an incentive activity and is capable of industrial application
  2. It constitutes an improvement of a patented invention
  3. Therefore, where an invention has been shown to the public by either oral disclosure or document or there has been a prior use of such invention, such invention can no longer be patentable.

Non-patentable inventions

  • Plant or animal varieties, or essentially biological processes for the production of plants and animals
  • Inventions that would be contrary to public order or morality

Patent Right

For your invention to qualify as an invention with patent rights duly backed by the law, it is not automatic as there are formalities that are required to confer patent right on your innovation. Part of the procedure to register your patent right is to make an application for a patent to the Registrar of Patents and accompany the application with a description of the relevant invention with accurate plans and drawings. The application process for a patent right takes about 12 months.

Duration of Patent Right

In Nigeria, a patent right remains operative for a period of twenty (20) years from the date on which the application was filed. The application can be renewed annually for the duration of twenty (20) years.


Intellectual property Law is ever-changing and in order to keep abreast with the changes that occur in the IP sector and remain relevant in today’s competitive market, you need to strive to protect your Intellectual property. The same goes for companies who want their company to thrive, it is strongly advised for companies to identify and protect their IPs. We indulge you in seeking the services of a qualified IP lawyer in Nigeria who will ensure that your IP is identified, registered, and fully protected.

We can provide you with free online legal advice in Nigeria regarding your Intellectual Property right, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

For more information about Intellectual Property as well as other legal services we offer in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and India, please feel free to contact us, we are just a click away.

We at eLegal Consultants look forward to meeting you and are ready to journey with you to realise your dreams. Contact Us Today.

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