As 2020 draws to a close, we bring you the 4th volume of our IP newsletter and extend a special greeting to our clients, readers, and friends for staying with us throughout these unprecedented times. We look forward to bringing you continued updates in the New Year and use this opportunity to wish you an incredibly happy holiday season and a prosperous 2021.
Activities at the Regulatory Agencies
Following the recent guidelines issued by the Federal Government, the Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry; the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC); the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC); the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other regulatory agencies have continued to carry out activities.
The initial guidelines permitted officers from Grade level 12 to resume work, however, with the further easing of the lockdown, officers from Grade Level 1 have been authorised to resume work. As a result of the new guidelines, activities at the various agencies have begun to normalize notwithstanding the pandemic. Nevertheless, measures are being put in place by the various agencies to prevent the risk of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Publication of Compendium of Rulings from the Trademarks Tribunal
The Registrar, Trademarks Registry, Barr. Shafiu Adamu Yauri has continued to champion the publication of rulings in the compendium of rulings of the Trademarks Registry. The Registry recently published volumes 2 and 3 of the ‘Compendium of Rulings of Trademark Tribunal’, having published volume 1 in 2018 in respect of trademark opposition and cancellation matters decided by the Registrar.
Stakeholders believe that this move by the Registry will expedite the speedy conclusion of pending opposition and cancellation matters as the Registry intends to maintain the momentum of regularly publishing decided matters.
NOTAP Explores Partnership with Trademarks Registry for National Development
The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) is exploring a possible partnership with the Trademarks Registry, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for National Development. The DG of NOTAP, Dr. Dan Azumi Mohammed Ibrahim, mentioned this during a visit to the NOTAP Headquarters by the Registrar, Trademarks Registry, Barr. Shafiu Adamu Yauri. The DG noted that the world is moving from being resource-based to being knowledge-based and that the vibrancy of Research and Development in an economy determines the industrial and technological development of a nation, and as such, NOTAP would like to see products being developed by Nigerians.
The DG stated that NOTAP’s intervention in the area of patent promotion was yielding positive results with the attendant increase in patents secured by researchers through the Office over the years, citing examples of the increase in patents from six in 2015 to 16 in 2016, and from 50 in 2017 to 55 in 2018, and 57 in 2019.
The Registrar stated that the Trademarks Registry is the entryway to the market and noted that a desk officer from NOTAP would be needed at the Registry who will handle every trademark application from the Office efficiently. He added that the Trademarks Registry will also ensure that it embeds the function and crucial role of trademarks in NOTAP’s projects and activities not only to sensitize and educate but to establish a relationship that will make it easy for scientists and researchers to protect their trademarks in the Trademarks Registry.
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