Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and its most populous state, so IP developments are significant. What follows is a summary of some recent legislative amendments:
We have on previous occasions discussed the new copyright legislation in Nigeria, the Copyright Act 2023. This legislation, which was signed into law on 24 March 2023, significantly modernises Nigerian copyright law, for example by introducing a voluntary registration system, anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting measures, provision for collective management, and the protection of performer’s rights.
Patents, designs and trade marks
We can now report on a further piece of legislation that is relevant to intellectual property, the Business Facilitation Act (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2023. This legislation does, inter alia, the following:
Patents and designs: It amends the First Schedule of the Patents and Designs Act (which provides for compulsory licenses), by inserting a new section 13A. The new section requires the Minister to prescribe by regulation the procedure for the application, grant, use, and withdrawal of compulsory licenses.
Trade marks – goods: It amends the Trademarks Act by including in the definitions section (Section 67) a definition for the term ‘goods’. This definition makes it clear that the term ‘goods’ includes services. Local lawyers say that this effectively puts to rest any arguments and uncertainty around the enforcement of service marks.
Trade marks – shapes and colours: It further amends the Trademarks Act by specifying that the definition of the term ‘trademark’ includes the shape of goods and packaging and a combination of colours.
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