The legal angles of your business is very important. Also the difference between trade name and trade mark should be clearly understood so as not to infringe into someone area of business.  

The following questions below are going to be answered in this section.

a)   What are the distinction between trade name and trade mark?

b)   What bodies are responsible for the registration of Trademarks?

c)   What are the processes involve in the registration of trademark?

d)   Can a Trade mark registered in Nigeria be protect-able in any other country?

e)   Is it possible for a company to use a registered trade mark for all its product

Distinction between Trade name and Trade mark

A Trade name or business name or commercial name is that name which is used by manufacturers, industrialist, merchants and entrepreneur to identify their business or symbolize the reputation of their business. In other words, it is the name or title lawfully adopted and used by a particular organization engaging in commerce which can be used in advertising, promotion and in generating publicity for the business. Usually, trade name registration comes with the incorporation of the company or with business registration which is handled by the Corporate Affair Commission (CAC), Abuja.

On the other hand, a Trade mark is a distinctive sign which serves to distinguish the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings. The sign may particularly consist of one or more distinctive words, letter, numbers, drawings or pictures, motto, emblems, colour, or a combination of colours, or any combination of the foregoing.

The Body Responsible for the Registration of Trade Mark

Trade marks in Nigeria are registered at the trade mark registry which is under the ministry of trade and tourism and their present address is at the Federal Secretariat, Garki, Abuja.

The Processes Involve in the Registration of Trade Mark

1.    Engage a professional or self conduct search at the trade mark registry to  

       check whether or not the mark is available.

2.    If the mark is available, proceed with the following registration procedures

      (a). Complete the following essential forms

       Form 1:        Authorization of Agent

       Form 2:        Application for Registration of Trade mark or specification

       Form 3:        Additional Representation of Trademark accompanying

                          application for registration

        (b). Filling the Completed forms at the Trade mark Registry

              accompanied by: (i) Eleven (11) Bromides of the print/Trade

              mark.(ii)   Pay the filling fee as prescribed by the trade mark registry

       (c). Acknowledgement form and later the Acceptance forms are issued from the Trade mark Registry. With this you can have a legitimate use of the trademark pending the publication of the trademark in the trademark journal.

      (d). Publication of the trade mark in the journal and if there is no opposition after two months of publication, the certificate of registration will be issued upon the payment of the prescribed fees.


Is A Trade Mark Registered Protectable in any Other Country?

In plain language, no appropriate registration is advisable in any other country the trade mark is to be used. So it is protected in any other country.

The Possibility of a Company using a Single Trade Mark for all its Products: It is possible for a company to use a trade mark for its entire product considering such factors as the advantages or expediency of sticking to such common trade mark for all product, etc. Except in some case, where such factor might dictate otherwise. In any case, seek professional advice.

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