News & Events

MAR 2011 NEWS Aluko & Oyebode





Trademarks Registry prepares to go online, establishes Trademark Academy

The Nigerian trademark office is currently settling in its new premises; very soon the office records will be on-line and electronic filings will be available to applicants. There is however no indication of the time the exercise will be completed.

The office has also established a training academy for staff training, amongst others. It is intended that the academy will serve as a training centre for international trademark law and the current trends on international best practices in intellectual property. WIPO officials are currently visiting the premises to inspect the academy in order to put in place such facilities to meet the required standard.

Trademarks Journal

The trademark office in its continued effort to clear existing backlog has almost concluded the process for publishing the next trademark journal and has assured all stakeholders that journals will be published quarterly. The last of this publication was on 31 December 2010.

We therefore expect that the new trademarks journal for the first quarter of this year, advertising existing trademark applications filed at the Registry, will be published about the end of March, 2011.

WIPO tour new facility of the Trademarks Registry

The representatives of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) arrived in Abuja, Nigeria on 1 March 2011. The purpose of their trip according to sources at the Registry was to undertake a tour of the new facility of the Trademarks Registry. Their itinerary will cover the tour of the new facility as well as a meeting with the Registrar of Trademarks, Patents and Designs and other senior officers of the Registry.

Registrar of Trademarks invited to USPTO

Our trademark office has been invited to attend meetings of Heads of Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registries at the United States Patents and Trademarks Office (USPTO). The Honourable Registrar, Hajia Jamila Ahmadu-Suka will represent the Nigeria Trademark Office with another senior officer of the registry. It is expected that the challenges of their home registries and ways of exchanging best practices for protection of Intellectual Property Rights will be on the agenda at the meeting.



There are ongoing discussions between the Executives of the Anti Counterfeiting Collaboration (ACC) Nigeria and the Anti Counterfeiting Committee of the International Trademarks Association (ACC/INTA) for the latter to fully participate and continue to partner with the ACC, Nigeria in respect of its annual Anti Counterfeiting Roundtable.

Although ACC/INTA collaborated at the last two workshops, this year ACC/INTA has indicated full support. It is expected that ACC/INTA will send delegates to attend the Roundtable scheduled to hold in October this year. This year’s event will focus on policy and enforcement issues and we will be looking to get the policy matters more involved. Past workshops focused mainly on public awareness of dangers of counterfeiting. ACC will align with the 2011 theme which is The Practical Approach to Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy.



The law firm of Aluko & Oyebode was recently ranked in the 2011 Patent Survey of Managing Intellectual Property.



ACC held its monthly general meeting on February 23, 2011. At the meeting, a representative of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Suleiman Isa was available to take questions from members. The invitation of SON to the ACC meeting was premised on a complaint by one of the members of the ACC. The member had earlier made a complaint to the ACC at its general meeting of December, 2010 on certain difficulties his company encountered in enforcing its brand against counterfeiters.

Responding to the complaint, Mr. Suleiman Isa discussed the complaint procedure of the SON. He explained that usually when activities of counterfeiters are reported in respect of a product, the SON has a verification process and if the goods are indeed counterfeits and or, sub-standard goods (most fakes fail to meet the required standard). Upon completion of investigation, SON will engage other regulatory agencies including the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigeria Customs Service to carry out a raid on the facilities of the counterfeiters.

According to him, this process has been effective over the years. In order to achieve a successful raid on the facilities of counterfeiters, the cooperation of the complainant company is vital to success of the raid. It is however important that the brand owner leaves the operation to the exclusive preserve of the enforcement officers. The complainant company is more or less, a participant observer.



The firm of Aluko & Oyebode recently admitted two of its senior associates to the partnership. By this admission, the firm’s partnership continues to be the largest in Nigeria with a total of 12 partners spread over the major cities in Nigeria: Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

Chukwuka Ikwuazom is an active member of the dispute resolution and arbitration team of the firm. He is also involved in the firm’s corporate commercial practice. Chuka has 9 years’ post-call experience and has advised a number of clients on a wide range of law including corporate law, taxation, securities regulation, compliance and regulatory matters.

Chuka, who holds an LL.M. in Taxation law from the Colombia University, New York, USA, joined the firm in 2002 as an associate after he was called to the Nigerian Bar. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Nigeria (CITN).

Reginald Udom focuses on the finance and energy practice of the firm. He has advised sponsors, lenders, issuers, underwriters and borrowers in a number of international financing transactions involving LNG plants, telecommunication infrastructure, cement plants and steel mills. He is also a core member of the firm’s Project Finance team. He recently, along with members of the team, won the prestigious best project finance team of the year by the Nigerian Legal Awards 2010.

Prior to joining the firm in 2007, Reginald studied at the prestigious University of Lagos, Nigeria and the University College, London where he bagged his LL.M. He currently has a 9 year post-call experience. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) International and Chartered Institute of Taxation, Nigeria (CITN).

The firm also promoted two associates to senior associates; Othuke Okpighe and Chike Anikwe were recently promoted to senior associates in the firm. Othuke is a core member of the firm’s dispute resolution and arbitration practice while Chike Anikwe is a member of the firm’s corporate commercial practice and advises client on tax.