News & Events

SEP 2009 NEWS Aluko & Oyebode




In its bid to make the Nigerian Film Industry, popularly known as “Nollywood”, the hub of film and movie pictures development in Africa and the world at large, the Nollywood Business Frontiers (NBF) together with the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), and with the support of the World Bank and the Government of Lagos State, Nigeria, present a round-table – Nollywood Business Forum.

The forum tagged: “Nollywood Business Round Table: Nigeria’s Movie Revolution and how to join it” shall hold between the 8th and 9th October, 2009 in Lagos. The theme for the event is: “MOTION PICTURE AS A VEHICLE FOR GROWTH: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES”. The 2-day event shall witness over 200 delegates and speakers, Producers, Directors, Distributors, Theatre Owners, TV and Radio Stations, Artists, Technicians, Investors, Banks, Legal & Accounting Firms, Government, and Delegates from the United Kingdom, Untied States, India and South Africa

Issues to be discussed at the round-table include: (i) the current state of the industry; (ii) the potential of the industry as a reputational asset for Nigeria and Africa; (iii) constraints in the industry; and (iv) solutions. Other issues include: Skills training, creative and technical capacity development; Nollywood as a vehicle for small enterprise development; and Joint Ventures and global alliances.

The Speakers at the round-table include: Mr. Zeb Ejiro, OON, Chairperson, Nollywood Business Frontiers, Dr. Mohan Kaul, Director-General, Commonwealth Business Council, Mr. Jeta Amata, Producer, “Amazing Grace”, Mrs Farida Waziri, Chair, Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ms Uche Nwokocha, Partner, Aluko & Oyebode Solicitors. Other dignitaries that will grace the event include the Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, Prof (Mrs) Dora Akunyili, Honourable Minister for Information and Communication, and Dr. Achike Udenwa, Honourable Minister for Commerce and Industry.



The Anti-Counterfeiting Collaboration (ACC) Nigeria, in pursuance of its objectives of creating awareness of the importance of effective intellectual property protection and enforcement and fight against counterfeiting, infringement and piracy of all goods and services in Nigeria, will partner with the Anti-Counterfeiting and Enforcement Committee (ACEC) of the International Trade Marks Association (INTA) to present a roundtable aimed at capacity building for Nigeria’s enforcement officers. ACEC is a committee within the INTA, an international association which evaluates treaties, laws, regulations, procedures and other enforcements, develops and advocates policies to advance protection against counterfeiting and infringement, and also provides anti-counterfeiting and enforcement education.

The ACC and INTA/ ACEC  Roundtable has been scheduled tentatively for 26th October, 2009 at Sheraton Club, Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos at 10 am prompt. The event will create a unique opportunity for all stakeholders including Nigerian Agency for Food, Drugs, Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Consumer Protection Council (CPC), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), The Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Trademarks Registry, Nigeria Copyright Commission and brand owners to share current and developing industry best practices which have proven effective in curbing the vice of counterfeiting which is a continuing threat to various organisations’ invaluable intellectual property and the nation’s economic growth.



The Registry recently issued a circular dated 15th May, 2009 to clear the air regarding payment of annuities for patentsl based on international (PCT) filing date. The new circular directs that the annuities on all applications based on PCT Patents filed in Nigeria within the priority period specified in the treaty shall be due and payable from the International (PCT) filing date.  However  for all Non-Convention Patents or Applications outside the specified priority period, the annuity shall be payable on the anniversary of the filing of patent application in Nigeria.

In fulfilment of its statutory duties on registration of trademarks and tradenames in Nigeria, the Trademarks Registry has published the Trademarks Journal Vol.2, No. 3 dated 31st August, 2009. The Intellectual Property Law Department has procured copies for our Lagos and Abuja offices for our clients’ purposes. Compilation has already commenced for the next journal being expected soon. The registry has indeed succeeded in clearing the backlog of pending applications from 1970. Journals are atleast published every two months.



The Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) recently conducted an election into executive offices of the Association. At the election, Mr. Chijioke Okoli, of Ilo & Okoli emerged as the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Lagos Branch. During his tenure, Mr. Okoli’s responsibilities include maintenance of professional best practices for members and cordial relationship between the lawyers and the judiciary particularly as the new Legal Year commences.

The law firm of Aluko & Oyebode congratulates Mr. Okoli and wishes him a fruitful tenure in office.



The Annual Conference of the biggest association of lawyers in Sub-Sahara Africa, the Nigerian Bar Association, was held in Lagos on the 16th – 21st August, 2009 at Oceanview Expo Centre, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. The Conference was the largest gathering of lawyers in Africa with over 10,000 lawyers, 1,000 speakers and 100 sessions.

At the Nigerian Bar Association  conference, Mr Gbenga Oyebode  MFR, the Managing Partner of Aluko & Oyebode, presented a paper titled: “Succession Planning for Lawyers: Before the Founder’s exit”. In his presentation, Mr. Oyebode discussed the partnership practice in the Nigerian legal community and the formation and implementation of sound policies for the development of employees of the firm in order to become capable of being admitted into partnership. He further expounded on the proper guidelines for the sustenance of the law firm after the founder’s exit amongst other things, through communication, institutionalisation of firm’s management procedures, building on the size of the firm, areas of expertise, and aligning firm/individual goals and corporate image.

The choice of Mr. Oyebode as a speaker during the 2009 Conference is doubtlessbased on the development of the partnership and the firm of Aluko & Oyebode over the years and its position as a world class full service law firm.

The Conference is a yearly event in the calendar of the Nigerian Bar Association which affords lawyers and other invited professionals opportunity to network and exchange ideas on the modern trends in legal practice particularly with the recent activities of the Sections and Committees of the Bar.



The Network Administrator of the Information Technology Support Department of Aluko & Oyebode, Mrs. Yetunde Johnson was in the 5-member team of delegates by the Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NIRA)  to  the  conference of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Egypt.

The aim of the Conference was to engage in policy development and outreach. Over the eight days of the meeting there were many meetings, workshops, public forums and informal discussions held by the different stakeholders of the ICANN system which cover: business interests; civil society; governments and government agencies; internet service providers; registration and operation of the domain name systems; and the technical community.

NIRA as the Nigerian Internet Registry mandated its delegates to attend as many of the stakeholder meetings in order to gain understanding of the policies or issues at hand in respect of the internet operation, the domain name system and brand-owners, and also express an opinion on behalf of NIRA and Nigerian internet stakeholders. NIRA has recently improved on its policies to protect brand owners in registration of domain names. In contrast to past practices which limit application for domain name registration by brand owners to one domain name per owner thereby leaving the brands/trademarks to the mercy of infringers. The  new policy allow brand owners to apply for a number of domain name registrations on the .ng domain for their numerous brands. This is in line with current developments to protect brand owners and their brands against infringement and internet phishing.



The Federal Republic of Nigeria celebrates its 49th Independence Anniversary on October 1, 2009. Our offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja will close for business on that day while normal business activities will resume on October 2, 2009.

Happy Independence Day!