Nigeria offers protection for a range of intellectual property rights including copyrights, trademarks, patents and designs. Being largely an importer of technology and finished products, trademark rights remains the most significant and more commonly deployed form of intellectual property protection in Nigeria, attracting significant value in the form of royalties and licence fees and increased application for registration at the Nigerian Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry (IPO). Although Nigeria is a member of international organisations such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and signatory to a number of international treaties connected to the protection of intellectual property rights, the majority of these treaties are yet to be domesticated into the local laws. The effect being that majority of the local laws, particularly in relation to trademark law, are yet to fully evolve and align with international developments in the intellectual property world.
Civil litigation remains the traditional form of enforcement of IP rights. However, enforcement by administrative procedures and remedies is increasingly being resorted to through administrative bodies such as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), the Nigeria Customs Service and other special requirements related to border measures. The main features of these forms of intellectual property rights will be discussed in this chapter.
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